Marginal Utility.

It has been a couple or more decades since I had to deal with this old chestnut. It is difficult to remember constantly that Pravin is very much younger and is quite capable of challenging my memory with such ideas like coming up with this topic for this week’s LBC post.

Just to make it simple for my readers not exposed to such ideas in Economics, let me illustrate to understand the concept.  Please click on the image for a larger resolution.

Fairly simple. There is only one case where it does not work and that is in the case of addiction to alcohol, drugs etc. Which is a subject deserving a totally new blog post altogether.

While I eagerly look forward to what Pravin and the other LBC bloggers come up with, I just want to express a puzzle and leave my readers to come up with the answers.

If the concept of Marginal Utility is true, why do some societies have polygamy or polyandry? Does the theory not work there? I don’t know. I was a monogamist and now more or less a sanyasi. I am not personally acquainted with any polygamist or polyandrist and so cannot ask one.

And just as I was about to end this post, I came across this remarkable piece of news which stumps me even more on the aspect of marginal utility only for this polyamorous union.  Now, I have seen and heard enough.

You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

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22 Responses to Marginal Utility.

  1. Mitali Chinmulgund says:

    Don’t forget polyamory 🙂

  2. tammy j says:

    i suppose there are all kinds of unions since the beginning of time.
    nothing is surprising anymore. the question of them now is the legal aspect of it all.
    i am glad i’m in the sannyasini stage! i have the denunciation of materialism and all else but i need to keep working on the spirituality.
    still i find it a wonderfully peaceful and happy way to live.
    tammy j recently posted..moving on old bean

  3. Looney says:

    The news should not be surprising. What was always much more surprising to me was the scientific observation that gays always formed monogamous, loving, permanent relationships at a far higher rate than heterosexuals, while at the same time the Center for Disease Control lists them as the demographic with by far the highest rate of STD transmission. Clearly something miraculous is at work that invalidates the principle of marginal utility.
    Looney recently posted..A California Marmot

  4. I’ve never been that materialistic, having time to pursue my own interests was/is much more important to me. I also have never had the desire to have more than one husband. 🙂

  5. Just left a comment and it disappeared. 🙁

    Anyway, not much interested in material goods, instead value the freedom to pursue my own interests. And I’ve never had the urge to have more than one husband. 🙂
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Power Causes Brain Damage

  6. So they did eventually post, strange.

    Anyway, economists have an overly simplistic view of human motivation. They don’t understand DPLDT.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Power Causes Brain Damage

  7. I suggest the problem with marginal utility is simply its lack of universal application – which makes its actual utility absolutely marginal. As to the story, I frankly do notcare what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own abode but I do get tired of seeing the bizarre limits some folks go to.

  8. I expect communications have improved so that these kinds of relationships become more known – maybe because more people need or want legality. I know that has been cases in here where the passing of one person in a relationship has seen them lose all…or similar rights stalled at the door. And it’s not always from same-gender, even those who are heterosexual but not formally married have found themselves in this legal situation…

  9. I’m seldom surprised, but have never heard of this type of three-way union. If it works for them, good—each to his or her own!

  10. Well. In my experience (clinical, not personal), unions of more than two people are fraught with possibilities for jealousy, coercion, and so on. I just don’t think it’s a good idea.
    Secret Agent Woman recently posted..Engagement anniversary.

  11. nick says:

    Well, as you say, the process of addiction rather contradicts the idea of marginal utility. But then marginal utility is a very rational concept and there’s nothing rational about addiction, it just takes you over regardless of whether it’s satisfying.

    As Agent says, multiple unions must surely be rife with all sorts of negative feelings.
    nick recently posted..Fuggy no more

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