Finding Freedom

How quickly can a fool find his money again?

I currently have a whole bunch of debt. Hmm...I wonder how much I could get for my kidneys?
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006
The Economics of Doing the Right Thing
As I have mentioned previously, I am currently working for a theatre company. The show is a very small one, and there are only seven of us in the cast, with two understudies.

Last night, the director harped on one of the actresses. He said, among a bunch of other less than kind statements, something about how he didn't understand her bitchiness. This largely caused the rest of the actors to just look at the floor in a kind of stunned silence, though any of us could have spoken up.

The actress spoken to later wanted to quit, and reasonably so. She thinks that she will just speak to the board of directors once the show is up and running, which is probably a good choice. I would advise her to speak with him about it, but she has already done so once, and it has obviously not created a positive outcome.

She and I and a couple of other cast members went out last night for drinks after rehearsal, and just kind of thought about what the director's deal was. Everyone had his or her opportunity to vent.

While I hope to not trivialize what has happened, my purpose in bringing this up here is that I am trying to look at it from a series of different perspectives in order to realize the most truth. Because of that, I thought that I would take a look at it from a purely economic perspective here. This may come across as heartless, but remember, it's only one of the ways that I'm looking at it.

I think that from an economic standpoint, the biggest thing going through my mind was, "How can I keep this from getting me in trouble." I know that that is selfish, and I hope that in the future I will react better, but last night, that was my gut reaction.

So, in purely economic terms, I was seeking immediate gratification. I at first thought that this would not cost me anything, which would have worked out well. However, it turns out that not doing what is right kinds of weighs on one's heart. It really doesn't feel too good that I didn't stand up for my friend.

However, what if I had spoken up, and things had gotten further out of control? What if we had both been fired? While it is a long shot, it certainly is a possibility. That would, obviously, leave one or both of us out of work, which would negatively affect us economically as we are getting paid for this show. Further, if we were fired, what effect would our absence then have on the theatre? How negatively would ticket sales react to losing two people two weeks before the show.

And what would become of my own relationship with the director? For some reason, he seems to like me more than most of the rest of the cast. From a personal economic standpoint, does it make sense to lose what I have worked to gain from him? And then to face the potential of facing his unkindness in the future?

Economically, at least from these couple of areas, it makes sense to stay silent, that is, if I can silence my conscience, which I am not sure that I can do. I'm not a very good utilitarian, it seems.

My conclusion: I hope that next time I will speak up. Though it might not make sense from an economist's standpoint, it is morally reprehensible to treat another human being like that.
posted by shamedsteven @ 1:20 PM  
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Name: Steven shamedsteven
Home: San Diego
About Me: Well, boys and girls, I, like a whole bunch of other people, made a series of "conscious, deliberate mistakes" and have ended up with a buttload of debt. What is chronicled here are some musings about the journey out.
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