Prom=economic drain

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

math1337
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:28 am UTC

Prom=economic drain

Postby math1337 » Fri May 13, 2011 12:32 am UTC

Considering the amount of resources wasted by all of the upperclassmen in the nation by this event, wouldn't it be good just to abolish it? In addition to the wasted money and time, It causes an untold number of deaths, including those involving DWI, and increases the birth rate in undesirable age groups. If all of those lost economic resources($billions/year) were put to a good cause, couldn't the world be a better place?

User avatar
Aaeriele
Posts: 2127
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:30 am UTC
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Aaeriele » Fri May 13, 2011 12:44 am UTC

Funny, I could change the title of this thread to "the Superbowl" and the OP would still make sense.
Vaniver wrote:Harvard is a hedge fund that runs the most prestigious dating agency in the world, and incidentally employs famous scientists to do research.

afuzzyduck wrote:ITS MEANT TO BE FLUTTERSHY BUT I JUST SEE AAERIELE! CURSE YOU FORA!

fr00t
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:06 am UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby fr00t » Fri May 13, 2011 12:52 am UTC

Given your user name, choice of forum, and question, I'm guessing you don't have a date?

but srsly: you forgot about this thing called "fun"

User avatar
Krong
Posts: 288
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:49 am UTC
Location: Charleston, South Cackalacky

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Krong » Fri May 13, 2011 12:56 am UTC

And I was about to say they could replace "prom" with "video games". But in case the point needs explanation...

math1337, you're asking an extremely loaded question. You say that proms "waste" resources, then list only their negative effects, without even giving evidence that these effects are strong. And even if you can convince people that proms are undesirable things, you still haven't explained what you mean by "abolishing" them. Disassociating them from public schools? Getting teens to stay home come prom night?
The answer to the question "What’s wrong with the world?" is just two words: "I am." -- G. K. Chesterton (attributed)

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri May 13, 2011 12:57 am UTC

If people didn't insist on spending their money on houses, food, and water, they could give it all away and go live in monasteries.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

Tirian
Posts: 1891
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:03 pm UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Tirian » Fri May 13, 2011 1:04 am UTC

math1337 wrote:If all of those lost economic resources($billions/year) were put to a good cause, couldn't the world be a better place?


No, the world wouldn't be a better place. A world where we didn't allow people to celebrate the end of their childhood? Do not want.

User avatar
telcontar42
Posts: 430
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:33 pm UTC
Location: Davis, CA
Contact:

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby telcontar42 » Fri May 13, 2011 1:07 am UTC

math1337 wrote:It causes an untold number of deaths, including those involving DWI, and increases the birth rate in undesirable age groups.

Do you have evidence that there is a statistically significant increase in either of these due to proms?

math1337
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:28 am UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby math1337 » Fri May 13, 2011 1:18 am UTC

Ironically I have a date, but I don't want to waste my time going.

I don't have statistics, but my school wasted half of my day doing a thing telling everyone not to drive drunk after prom.

aoeu
Posts: 325
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:58 pm UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby aoeu » Fri May 13, 2011 1:30 am UTC

Tirian wrote:
math1337 wrote:If all of those lost economic resources($billions/year) were put to a good cause, couldn't the world be a better place?


No, the world wouldn't be a better place. A world where we didn't allow people to celebrate the end of their childhood? Do not want.


As things stand they are somewhat forced to celebrate.

User avatar
TaintedDeity
Posts: 4003
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:22 pm UTC
Location: England;

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby TaintedDeity » Fri May 13, 2011 1:31 am UTC

As far as I remember... prom isn't mandatory. Lots of my friends didn't go to theirs.
Ⓞⓞ◯

User avatar
SummerGlauFan
Posts: 1746
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:27 pm UTC
Location: KS

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby SummerGlauFan » Fri May 13, 2011 1:32 am UTC

Actually, the money spent in Prom can be seen as a positive economic force. The paper, food, entertainment, flowers, suits and dresses, etc all means money being spent in the community.
glasnt wrote:"As she raised her rifle against the creature, her hair fluttered beneath the red florescent lighting of the locked down building.

I knew from that moment that she was something special"


Outbreak, a tale of love and zombies.

In stores now.

User avatar
charolastra
Posts: 333
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:37 pm UTC
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby charolastra » Fri May 13, 2011 1:37 am UTC

Prom is as expensive as you let it be. Where I went to high school, tickets themselves were $80 a piece which priced many people (including myself) out, but the rest could be done in any manner that you wished. I chose to put the money I saved by doing alternative activities with my best friend toward college- I could just have easily put it toward hookers and blow.

Rituals and traditions are meaningless in of themselves, but millions of high school kids attribute meaning and place a monetary and risk value on that experience. I see absolutely no problem with that even though at the time going to prom was something that did not seem worth my time, effort, or money. I do not regret my decision years later. Neither do my friends who spent upwards of $350 of hard earned babysitting money on some frilly dresses.

Prom is an exercise in real life decisions. How many people do you think die from drunk driving accidents around the 4th of July, Cinco de Mayo, etc? Or get pregnant from uninspired drunken interludes? Or blow money on something completely unnecessary (hint: most people's TVs are a bigger expense than SEVERAL proms and just as much of a misappropriation of funds needed by orphans in Africa)? For most people, it is a last hurrah of childhood before assuming more adult responsibilities and obligations.

Tirian
Posts: 1891
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:03 pm UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Tirian » Fri May 13, 2011 1:46 am UTC

aoeu wrote:As things stand they are somewhat forced to celebrate.


If by "somewhat", you mean "not at all", then yes, it is an event that you are free to miss. I had no interest in going to mine (the only girl I wanted to go with was touring colleges that weekend), and to the best of my knowledge both the prom and my social life went on despite my absence.

Nor is it an event where you are forced to spend yourself into oblivion or make lifestyle choices about alcohol or sex that you wouldn't make on any other night. Or, let me put it this way, if you do feel pressured into making those bad decisions, then you're not actually an adult yet.

User avatar
lutzj
Posts: 898
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:20 am UTC
Location: Ontario

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby lutzj » Fri May 13, 2011 3:14 am UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:Actually, the money spent in Prom can be seen as a positive economic force. The paper, food, entertainment, flowers, suits and dresses, etc all means money being spent in the community.


^ Exactly. It's not like the money goes into a hole, and teenagers can hardly be trusted to invest money wisely anyway, so they might as well support local businesses. The realistic alternatives to that tuxedo rental (video games, iPods, hard liquor) either move money farther from home or are harmful in their own right.

Teens with the sagacity to save their money or invest it in college have, as others mentioned in this thread, the option of simply not going.
addams wrote:I'm not a bot.
That is what a bot would type.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri May 13, 2011 3:17 am UTC

I dunno, think of all the tux/dress sales, the event planners and the small time musicians getting annual opportunities to shine. Think of the revenue generated for the school,and the likelihood thereby that individuals have a positive experience and are more likely to donate to the school in the future. Think of the possible memories formed and future partnerships, romantically or otherwise, and the exposure young people get for what to expect in future formal parties.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

Goplat
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:41 pm UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Goplat » Fri May 13, 2011 4:03 am UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:Actually, the money spent in Prom can be seen as a positive economic force. The paper, food, entertainment, flowers, suits and dresses, etc all means money being spent in the community.
Making people spend money is not a positive thing all by itself. That's the broken window fallacy.

User avatar
podbaydoor
Posts: 7548
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:16 am UTC
Location: spaceship somewhere out there

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby podbaydoor » Fri May 13, 2011 4:05 am UTC

Putting on an event isn't exactly the equivalent of breaking a window.
tenet |ˈtenit|
noun
a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy : the tenets of classical liberalism.
tenant |ˈtenənt|
noun
a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri May 13, 2011 4:07 am UTC

The bottom line is that people are spending money on something they want to do, and getting fun out of it. If it wasn't worth the cost, don't you think that the people who are spending their money on it would have figured it out by now? Or, if not, are you (as in OP) in any better of a position to know?
Last edited by TheGrammarBolshevik on Fri May 13, 2011 4:08 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Vaniver » Fri May 13, 2011 4:07 am UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:Actually, the money spent in Prom can be seen as a positive economic force. The paper, food, entertainment, flowers, suits and dresses, etc all means money being spent in the community.
NO

Prom's value derives from the benefit attendees get, not what it costs them.

(Ninjaed by goplat, but still. NO)
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

++$_
Mo' Money
Posts: 2370
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:06 am UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby ++$_ » Fri May 13, 2011 4:10 am UTC

podbaydoor wrote:Putting on an event isn't exactly the equivalent of breaking a window.
But creating an event that requires people to get tuxes, dresses, limos, and other such things, when they wouldn't normally need to do so in order to have fun, is like breaking a window.

The real point of prom is that some people actually like it. That is what makes it worthwhile. Plus, if you don't want to attend, then you don't have to!

EDIT: Ninja'd by Vaniver and others.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri May 13, 2011 4:13 am UTC

The broken window analogy doesn't work here, so stop pointing to it.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
lutzj
Posts: 898
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:20 am UTC
Location: Ontario

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby lutzj » Fri May 13, 2011 4:15 am UTC

Goplat wrote:
SummerGlauFan wrote:Actually, the money spent in Prom can be seen as a positive economic force. The paper, food, entertainment, flowers, suits and dresses, etc all means money being spent in the community.
Making people spend money is not a positive thing all by itself. That's the broken window fallacy.


The parable of the broken window isn't really analgous to this sort of economic activity. When I break a window, I destroy the wealth that had been invested in that window; the economy suffers a net loss equal to at least the value of the window. When a promgoer uses babysitting income to buy rent a limousine, everyone benefits. The enjoyment of riding in a limousine presumably outweighs the lost leisure time put into babysitting for the teen, and the economy at least breaks from the increased commerce as well (assuming reasonable prices for both babysitting and limousine rides).

EDIT: Got caught in all the crossposts. My point is that proms are not an "economic dain;" the investment is only wasted if you do not enjoy it, in which case you should not go.
Last edited by lutzj on Fri May 13, 2011 4:18 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
addams wrote:I'm not a bot.
That is what a bot would type.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri May 13, 2011 4:16 am UTC

Nobody invoking the window analogy is saying that prom shouldn't happen; they're saying that SummerGlauFan's defense of prom is untenable.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri May 13, 2011 4:20 am UTC

But, he's right. Prom is the net result of a bunch of people pooling resources for an event they want; nothing was broken or damaged or destroyed in the process, wealth is created.

Just look at any sporting event as a parallel.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri May 13, 2011 4:27 am UTC

Hence my assertion that nobody invoking that analogy is rejecting prom in general, rather SGF's argument for prom.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

Randomizer
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:23 am UTC
Location: My walls are full of hungry wolves.
Contact:

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Randomizer » Fri May 13, 2011 4:41 am UTC

math1337 wrote:Ironically I have a date, but I don't want to waste my time going.

Then take her to a movie instead. Or if prom is important to her, she can find another date or go by herself or with friends, and the two of you can go out together some other time. Or if you go with her anyway, it's no different than participating in any other activity she's keen on but you're not, such as perhaps attending an art museum or a "chick flick".
I don't have statistics, but my school wasted half of my day doing a thing telling everyone not to drive drunk after prom.

That message is relevant to anyone who would drive a car at any point at any time in their life, not just for prom. Prom just happens to be a good time to address this issue. For anyone who already "gets" don't drink and drive and wouldn't be doing that anyway, the presentation was a waste of their time whether they were planning on going to prom or not. Whether the presentation was a waste of time has little to do with prom itself.
Belial wrote:I'm all outraged out. Call me when the violent rebellion starts.

User avatar
SummerGlauFan
Posts: 1746
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:27 pm UTC
Location: KS

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby SummerGlauFan » Fri May 13, 2011 4:46 am UTC

I was responding to the claim that prom is an economic drain, when it clearly is not. How much value people get from the activities of prom is a different matter, and there are a number of reasons one may attend or not attend prom, but prom being an economic drain in and of itself is not one of them.
glasnt wrote:"As she raised her rifle against the creature, her hair fluttered beneath the red florescent lighting of the locked down building.

I knew from that moment that she was something special"


Outbreak, a tale of love and zombies.

In stores now.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10550
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby CorruptUser » Fri May 13, 2011 5:10 am UTC

If prom is an economic drain, then should we ban weddings too? A single wedding costs a lot more than prom.

Normally I'm against public spending on non-essentials, but prom provides a lot more than it costs. Not just entertainment, but community loyalty and such.

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7605
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Zamfir » Fri May 13, 2011 6:45 am UTC

Prom is as expensive as you let it be. Where I went to high school, tickets themselves were $80 a piece which priced many people (including myself) out, but the rest could be done in any manner that you wished. I chose to put the money I saved by doing alternative activities with my best friend toward college- I could just have easily put it toward hookers and blow.

$80 doesn't buy you much hookers and blow around here. A single gram of cocaine or so, unless it is seriously cut with crap, or perhaps a somewhat dubious hooker for a quick act, but both would already be stretching the budget. Hardly the ingredients for a night-long party.

Compared to hookers and blow, prom nights are very cost efficient.

Eowiel
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:57 pm UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Eowiel » Fri May 13, 2011 6:54 am UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:I was responding to the claim that prom is an economic drain, when it clearly is not. How much value people get from the activities of prom is a different matter, and there are a number of reasons one may attend or not attend prom, but prom being an economic drain in and of itself is not one of them.


How much value people get from the prom is not a different matter. If everyone had a terrible prom, economic wealth was destroyed. While the parable of the broken window doesn't really apply, the idea that the spending of money on itself creates value is based on the same fallacious argument as the idea that a broken window can create value.

Whether or not the prom was a waste of resources depends on how much value people attending the prom got vs. the cost.

User avatar
Aaeriele
Posts: 2127
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:30 am UTC
Location: San Francisco, CA

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Aaeriele » Fri May 13, 2011 6:59 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:nothing was broken or damaged or destroyed in the process, wealth is created.


wealth is neither created nor destroyed; merely transferred.
Vaniver wrote:Harvard is a hedge fund that runs the most prestigious dating agency in the world, and incidentally employs famous scientists to do research.

afuzzyduck wrote:ITS MEANT TO BE FLUTTERSHY BUT I JUST SEE AAERIELE! CURSE YOU FORA!

++$_
Mo' Money
Posts: 2370
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:06 am UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby ++$_ » Fri May 13, 2011 7:18 am UTC

If you break a window, wealth is destroyed. Money isn't, but money and wealth are not the same thing, at least according to the economic definition.

There are other ways of destroying wealth. Let's say 200 out of 250 students don't really care whether or not they wear tuxedos, but the administration requires it. Hence, 200 tuxedos suffer needless wear and tear. That is basically a broken window, and pointing to the tailors who are kept in business doesn't justify breaking it.

A similar thing could be said for other aspects of prom. The common thread, though, is that prom is only an "economic drain" if needless losses are caused because students don't enjoy it. If they are having fun, then it isn't an economic drain, since windows are not being broken.

collegestudent22
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:36 am UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby collegestudent22 » Fri May 13, 2011 10:10 am UTC

Aaeriele wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:nothing was broken or damaged or destroyed in the process, wealth is created.


wealth is neither created nor destroyed; merely transferred.


Wealth has been created for centuries. Since, well, the end of this faulty idea, along with the rest of Mercantilism, shortly after Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776 and just before the Industrial Revolution. Capitalism, as it were, is not a zero-sum game.

User avatar
mmmcannibalism
Posts: 2150
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:16 am UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby mmmcannibalism » Fri May 13, 2011 3:51 pm UTC

Aaeriele wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:nothing was broken or damaged or destroyed in the process, wealth is created.


wealth is neither created nor destroyed; merely transferred.
]

So how do you explain the fact that pure iron is worth more then iron ore? Its like the smelting turns the product into something more valuable...
Izawwlgood wrote:I for one would happily live on an island as a fuzzy seal-human.

Oregonaut wrote:Damn fetuses and their terroist plots.

User avatar
bigglesworth
I feel like Biggles should have a title
Posts: 7461
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:29 pm UTC
Location: Airstrip One

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby bigglesworth » Fri May 13, 2011 4:27 pm UTC

Yeah, but you lose coal, time.
Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.

User avatar
TheGrammarBolshevik
Posts: 4878
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:12 am UTC
Location: Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it.

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri May 13, 2011 4:30 pm UTC

Which you apparently valued less than the steel, else you would not have spent it on the steel.
Nothing rhymes with orange,
Not even sporange.

User avatar
savanik
Posts: 345
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:10 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby savanik » Fri May 13, 2011 4:34 pm UTC

"If it were up to the copyright lobby, owning a pen would be punishable by fines." ---Arancaytar

quantumcat42
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:06 pm UTC

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby quantumcat42 » Fri May 13, 2011 5:23 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
Aaeriele wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:nothing was broken or damaged or destroyed in the process, wealth is created.


wealth is neither created nor destroyed; merely transferred.
]

So how do you explain the fact that pure iron is worth more then iron ore? Its like the smelting turns the product into something more valuable...

Not to over use it... but the broken window fallacy is a better way to argue this, really. The value of the window is destroyed. The value of a new window is transferred from the owner of the shop to the window-maker, but there's a clear net loss of wealth.

User avatar
Diadem
Posts: 5654
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:03 am UTC
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Diadem » Fri May 13, 2011 5:32 pm UTC

I'd say that no matter if you enjoyed it or not, you are destroying economic wealth. This is true for mostly all activities we do for fun. The broken window parable applies to all of them. That doesn't mean that doing these activities is wrong. There's more to life than economy. Watching TV, playing sports, going to the movies or a theme park, they may not help the economy, but they are fun, they are what makes life worth living. In fact I'd say that we do most of our activities that produce economic wealth only to be able to do activities that destroy it again.

So these activities are not wrong. But it's still true that they do not produce economic wealth. The broken window parable applies to them. If you argue 'we should hold proms to help the economy' or 'we should watch movies to help the economy' you are just as wrong as when you argue 'we should break windows to help the economy'.
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
- Bernard Woolley in Yes, Prime Minister

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Prom=economic drain

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri May 13, 2011 6:04 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Watching TV, playing sports, going to the movies or a theme park, they may not help the economy, but they are fun, they are what makes life worth living.

I'm surprised to hear you say this; anything that costs you money, that isn't something your spending out of compensation or fines, is something that moves the economy. The people running the theme park/cable station/stadiums have families of their own, buy things with the generated revenue, and the process continues.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests