Most of you must think you are unique... And you are right! If you don't consider yourself unique then do not feel bad, just blame your school teacher or your mother who yelled at you more than once "Why can't you be as the rest of the other children". The thing is, most of the time we don't think in the echo of our words or acts and who could anyway? If I start thinking in the consecuences everytime I do something I simply would not get out of my bed in the morning, wouldn't you?
The thing is that actually you are unique as an individual but as a group we are one... Oh that is sweeeeet! and cliche but from a Smith perspective (Adam Smith) this makes total sense. Let's say you see someone is drinking the soda from the market (obviously he/she is not paying for it), probably you are going to blame him or just move away but you are not going to drink soda without paying it. Now let's imagine the next week you go to the same market and in the same aisle you see 200 guys drinking soda without paying for it, probably you are going to do the same (does the same principle apply for traffic? What about the laws?).
Now let's consider you have a simple good, let's say an apple. You bought that apple in the same market you saw people drinking the soda (but in a different aisle) for a dollar but suddenly some news are being aired on the TV, all the apple yards are being eliminated and the production and stock of apples is running low, obviously the price of the apple is going to rise to the sky and you could sell it for a few times its original value, but who decides what is going to be the next apple prices? Some economist smartass is going to tell you in a pseudo-brit accent "by the market" but what is the market? some big-brother org? Not quite. Actually the market is you and me, is everyone. Here is the trick, when you want to buy a chocolate you go to a store and when you get there the cashier offers to you a chocolate bar at the price of 10 dollars, instantly you are going to send him to hell and your chocolate desire is gone. The cashier is going to see your reaction and the next time you go asking for chocolate he is going to offer you a lower price, let's say 5 dollars. Next time you go for that chocolate you can keep sending him to hell untill you find the price is something reasonable for you to pay. This my friends is called the invisible hand, a concept brought by Adam Smith in the 18th century. The ability to modify a price is given by all of us and here is what brings to the title of this post. Let's think in the price of Pepsi (I Love Pepsi) in my place is a dollar per a 2 Lt Bottle, do you think is a coincidence that in my whole country the price is the same, I tell you, If the price would be higher no one would buy it and not buying the product is much more harmful for a company that saying to the cashier: "Go to #$%&", so it's true, The price is proposed by the companies but we are the judges, take it or leave it. This concept is called supply and demand: Basically, the more you want it, the higher the price you pay (Well, it's not as simple as this but for a start it's not bad). Here is an interesting example, Let's focus on prostitutes, in most of the countries this is taboo and not regulated, apparently no one knows how much does a prostitute charge you per hour (Fun Fact: On average, 120 dollars in Chile), nevertheless, most of the prostitutes seem to have the same price per hour and the same service. It's incredible how fixed is the priced considering tha lack of information from the customers and how healthy is the prostitutes market (apparently rising in a low but constant rate around the world) considering the prostitution is one of the oldest profession in the men history. My point is that prostitute's market is not like apple's market, in the latter there is communication between apple producers, worker sindicates, apple sellers and so on so they can decide the best price to offer to the people, with the prostitute's market there is not, I mean, some prostitutes may talk between themselves and discuss the diary fees but so far I know there is not a prostitutes sindicate, at least not in my country. So how can it be possible to have a so fixed price (almost every prostitute charges the same price). The answer is us again, we talk with our friends about prostitutes fees and what were the services, according to that we have a reference point to value and determinate if the prostitute is charging us too much or if the price is reasonable.
Ok, you must be wondering. What if the prostitute is blonde, blue eyes, Isinbayeva's body and Katy Perry's face too (I'm not trying to be male chauvinist here, Let's imagine Brad Pitt as a gigolo too). In that case I would be willing to pay more than the average in your country and the price could increase but Im willing to pay even more. Well, this concept is known as elasticity and it means that no matter how I increase the price, I still do want to buy that item (e.g: Water, Electricity, Food, etc). There are several kinds of goods, some of them you are always eager to buy them and some of them not, there you have different kinds of elasticity. Anyway, I included too many concepts but the thing is this: We all are very special and unique but as a whole one we are very predictable and the proof is the economy.
But here is the crazy thought... What was the most desirable good at most of the ancient civilizations? Any clue? It was gold, The Mayans, the Inca's, the native Americans and also in Egypt and so on but the weird question is how? What do I mean with How? Yes, How was it possible for every civilization to agree that the most valuable asset was gold if there was no communication among them? There you have an economy concept once again (assign value to some good) but without one of the most important principles of the economy that is communication... So, here goes some other question? Was there some communication between cultures or it was just coincidence?
Rule #1: Let's set as an axiom that there's no coincidence. As 21st century people we are not allowed to believe in coincidences (miracles yes, but no coincidences). I'm also nullifying the aliens theory in case you are wondering.
So, here comes another discipline called psychology. Why do you think that all ancients used to build pyramids instead of skyscrapers, they loved to paint in old caves, for most of the civilizations the representation of evil was a reptile (oftenly huge). You see, there are so many coincidences that it looks like if were a reason for that and the reason is in our brains. The organization of our brains is very similar, there's some long term memory some short term, there's a space for our sensors (taste, vision, smell, touch, hearing) and so on. Thus, there wouldn´t be any reason to think that we cannot think in the same way so at the end of the day we all think pretty much the same, we like soccer, we hate broccoli, we love dogs and dislike snakes, so on. the proof is in the history and today in the economy, if we all were much more different we couldn't agree in anything and there would be chaos in every place, the stores should manufacture a billion different t-shirts personalized for everyone, the same with cars, cakes, sneakers, etc. Imegine go to store and try to find the outfit you feel appealed for. No way! As a conclussion, we are all unique looking with a close up lens but the more you zoom out, the more we all look alike. Don't you think?