Light Pollution

Media Type: Music Topic: Supply & Demand, Externalities & Pollution

Bright Eyes

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Conor Oberst sings about a man who has lost his job and is now doing “anything to serve a function or to occupy some time” because he feels he must make a living somehow. Opportunity costs, as well as marginal costs and benefits must be weighed against each other to decide if the subject has made a rational decision. The lyrics indicate that the cost of his new lifestyle is a loss of income from his day job. The benefits are more leisure time and a new attitude.

Think further on what marginal benefits and the marginal costs might be for the subjects’ change of lifestyle. What are the opportunity costs? Is the subject being a rational decision maker?

Oberst also mentions the man as being in a group of unemployed individuals. One can presume that the subject is working odd jobs, or at the very least not working a stable job. Under these conditions is the subject correctly classified as unemployed?


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