Demand and Supply

The Law of Supply and Demand is an economic rule which states that supply MUST meet demand. It is supposed to be used for businesses in order to make them successful. I have never liked the law. What is a law anyway? Seems to me it is something made up to get people to go against their inner nature in the belief that law is of greater importance, and is a universal truth. You can’t argue with it, it’s a law.

How it works in business…
In business, a shop for example, if a customer comes in and wants something, you must scurry around to get it for them. This sits nicely with the law of The Customer Is Always Right (and by implication, the business is wrong). If there is a sudden surge of interest in a particular item in your shop, then you must not run out of it. You must get very stressed getting hold of more and more of it, putting pressure on your suppliers, who put pressure on further down the line. Everyone gets very stressed, but you make money, and that’s considered more important. This has led to a culture where customers can be very demanding, treating the business as a bunch of paid slaves, and this is considered an acceptable way to behave towards people. And if the business does not meet demand, it is criticised, possibly boycotted, and maybe it will go under. That is the fear that drives the business, and the extra money is the carrot.

On tap…
Water is a good example of how we have become used to things “on tap”. The water supply meets our demand. It never runs out. If we want to use more water, we expect more to be provided. Over time, we have become increasingly wasteful of water, because there is seemingly no limit to how much we can have. We also create more and more uses for it. The consumption goes up and up and up. Consumerism culture is another effect of The Law of Supply and Demand.

I have also noticed with food, that people must never run out of food at parties. There must always be too much. Which means everyone feels overly full, and lots goes to waste. The same applies to the food in the kitchen cupboards. We must never run out.

Demanding people…
The same principle spills over into everyday lives. If someone wants something, we get used to the idea that we must jump and do it, always say yes. We can’t say no, or we will be considered unhelpful or rude. Many people find their workplaces or families or other people in their life “demanding”. And they will carry on being demanding, because it works! If you always meet the demand, the demand will continue. Not only will it continue, it will go up and up and up, like the demand for water. And you will feel more and more like a slave. This has all become acceptable behaviour, and you are criticised for saying NO. Because it is against the Law (of Supply and Demand), so it is practically a criminal offence to say NO.

I have noticed how even with children, they don’t want to say NO, because they feel that is the wrong answer, and they will disappoint people if they say NO. It must be ingrained from an early age! If you phrase a question, such as “Would you like to go to the park today”, you are more likely to get the keen-to-please YES answer. If you phrase it as a multiple choice “Would you like to go to the park, or would you like to stay at home, or something else?” you are more likely to get a genuine answer. If you want to manipulate someone to do something, you just phrase the question or demand in such a way so that the YES answer gives you what you want, e.g. “Can you go and get that for me”. You make a demand. It’s not fair on the other person.

Dictating demands…
Why is there a sudden rush on certain consumer goods, the latest trend or fashion? It seems to me it would be really easy to create one! Since most people decide what to buy from magazines, papers, TV and Internet. Who controls those then? Same people that control the banks and the governments! So those at the top are controlling the demand that has all these negative side effects. They are almost certainly controlling the supply too, but that’s another story.

Demand and Supply…
We could do it the other way round. Shift your mind around and think that Demand has to meet Supply. We could just say that when something runs out, that’s it. We will manage fine. It might even make us more resourceful and creative at finding an alternative. We might find the alternative more interesting, or a pleasant change. Or we might realise we didn’t need it anyway. It might make us respect what we have, and take care of it better, appreciate it more. It might slow down our crazy high speed consumerism. It might give us more time if we are not racing around meeting the demands of others. Only say YES if you are willing and able. Running a business might be more attractive if you just supply whatever you are able and willing and interested in supplying, and what you believe in, instead of being run by your customers demands. And it might reduce the control from those at the top who encourage the demand by dictating fashions. It’s another way we can slowly detach ourselves from the system, and let it crumble without our support.

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