Apathy And Altruism In Superfreakonomics

834 Words 4 Pages
People are altruistic when helping is profitable. In chapter 3: “Unbelievable Stories About Apathy and Altruism” of their book SuperFreakonomics (2009), Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner state that people are not pure altruistic. (125) Furthermore, people are altruistic when there are beneficial incentives for them. On my high school’s Hallowmas back in China, some students have booths for selling things. One friend who wanted to sell lottery tickets asked me for help because he didn’t have experience about selling. As a person who had sold things for several times, I helped him by preparing materials, decorating the booth and cashiering. There are several reasons why I helped my friends, which suggests that people tend to be more altruistic …show more content…
I prepared hundreds of pieces of blood bags drinking, skull candies and flowers for selling before Hallowmas, yet I didn’t have a booth. He shared his booth with me, so I could sell my products. By helping him, I earned money and chances to sell my own products. Otherwise, all my preparation would turn to nothing. I made this reason clear when my friends asked me for help, so it was apparent to both me and my friends. My potential incentive was to get interests by helping my friend. People think and balance the outcome of helping others before helping others. With financial benefits as motivation, people are easier to help others like what I did in Hallowmas. In chapter 3, Levitt and Dubner illustrate that people donate money due to deduction of tax. (124) It seems the donators are real helpers, but donators get financial benefits by helping, whereas I got chances to sell more products. It is hard to tell whether I would help my friends or not if he did not have the booth. The same thing equals to humanity. People including me, and the donators know that they will get some benefits, so they help others. Financial benefits become one factor why people help …show more content…
My experience was unique and special since I helped him. During our days working together, we came up with some ideas that neither I nor him, a sole person, could come up with. For instance, my products were placed as extra prizes for his lottery tickets. It made his lottery ticket more attractive and my products more popular. Furthermore, people can get unexpected surprising benefits from helping others. The expectation of being benefits motivate people to help others. In chapter 3, Levitt and Dubner introduce the expansion of kidney market. (124) They conclude that altruism is not the reason for kidney market, yet the transaction is. To infer it, both buyers and sellers get help from trading kidney. Buyers get saved with a new kidney and sellers earn more money in my experience, both I and my friend got additional help by helping each other. No matter it is expected or not, people know that both will get help, which makes help no longer a pure help. In other words, People help others are not always on the single-track. When mutual help happens, pure altruism does not

Related Documents