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> Some people view prices not as market signals, but as metaphysical facts or revelations: This thing is valuable, and lowering its price would be to devalue it. Not in the obvious economic sense, but in some vague moral sense. In other words, “What you can afford” is a fixed thing, not an accident of market or regulatory forces. And wanting to lower prices is the same thing as demanding something—another fixed thing—that you can’t afford

This seems to me a specific instance of a much more general mistake, which is that people are unaccustomed to thinking about humans as embedded in a large and extremely complicated network of essentially institutional-psychological hacking techniques, meant to enable humans to co-operate in enormously large-scale complicated ways despite of having behaviors and subjectivities prewired for much smaller societies.

In default human society, resources are gained and held by convincing other people that you deserve them on a very individual granular level. This works acceptably because the group has relatively simple and easy-to-understand objectives and everyone is around to directly monitor everyone else's contribution to the group. Therefore, if a person persistently complains, with all apparent sincerity, that they are unable to live within their resource allocation, the most likely explanation by far is that they have an exaggerated impression of their personal worth and need to be psychologically checked back from their arrogance.

Attempt to apply this to capitalism and you get obvious nonsense, but it seems intuitively plausible because the alternative correct explanation requires first absorbing an enormous amount of fairly obscure and counter-intuitive information, and the path to finding that information is littered with people who honestly think they are doing so but are really just repeating the simplistic tribal nonsense from one side or the other.

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