Still, these negatives just might not seem that important when the wage is
$500 an hour. Indeed, when Allie confided to one longtime friend that she
had become a prostitute and described her new life, it was only a few weeks
before the friend joined Allie in the business.
Allie has never had any trouble with the police, and doesn't expect to. The
truth is that she would be distraught if prostitution were legalized,
because her stratospherically high wage stems from the fact that the service
she provides cannot be gotten legally.
Allie had mastered her domain. She was a shrewd entrepreneur who kept her
overhead low, maintained quality control, learned to price-discriminate, and
understood well the market forces of supply and demand.
She also enjoyed her work.
But all that said, Allie began looking for an exit strategy. She was in her
early thirties by now and, while still attractive, she understood that her
commodity was perishable. She felt sorry for older prostitutes who, like
aging athletes, didn't know when to quit. (One such athlete, a future Hall
of Fame baseball player, had propositioned Allie while she was vacationing
in South America, not knowing that she was a professional. Allie declined,
uninterested in a busman's holiday.)
She had also grown tired of living a secret life. Her family and friends
didn't know she was a prostitute, and the constant deception wore her out.
The only people with whom she could be unguarded were other girls in the
business, and they weren't her closest friends. She had saved money but not
enough to retire. So she began casting about for her next career. She got
her real-estate license. The housing boom was in full swing, and it seemed
pretty simple to transition out of her old job and into the new, since both
allowed a flexible schedule. But too many other people had the same idea.
The barrier to entry for real estate agents is so low that every boom
inevitably attracts a swarm of new agents- in the previous ten years,
membership in the National Association of Realtors had risen 75 percent-
which has the effect of depressing their median income. And Allie was aghast
when she realized she'd have to give half of her commission to the agency
that employed her. That was a steeper cut than any pimp would dare take!
Finally Allie realized what she really wanted to do: go back to college.
She would build on everything she'd learned by running her own business and,
if all went well, apply this newfound knowledge to some profession that
would pay an insanely high wage without relying on her own physical labor.
Her chosen field of study? Economics, of course.
From SUPERFREAKONOMICS: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why
Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J.
Dubner. Copyright 2009 by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Reprinted
by permission of William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
In the blockbuster Freakonomics, rogue economists Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner forever changed our understanding of how the world works, exploring—among other things—why sumo wrestlers and teachers cheat, why drug dealing doesn’t pay (literally) and whether the name your parents gave you affects how well you do in life.
Now, with Superfreakonomics, they’re back, distilling a wealth of cutting-edge research into a book that’s packed with even more provocative and surprising findings. Take global warming. Did you know that eating a kangaroo can do more to fight global warming than owning a hybrid car? Or that buying locally produced food actually increases greenhouse gas emissions? (If you want to find out why, you’ll have to read the book.)
And that’s just the beginning. Also pondering the strange economics of prostitution, how you can tell a good doctor from a bad one and the surprising reason why suicide bombers should buy life insurance, it’s an eye-opening romp through some of today’s most intriguing hot-button issues. These findings will change the way you think about the world all over again. It promises to be the most talked-about book of the season.
Softcover Book : 288 pages
Publisher: William Morrow & Co, Inc/Imp of Har. ( October 20, 2009 )
Item #: 13-116323
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.69inches
Product Weight: 8.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Not a bad read but it just (to me) didn't have the same effect as Freakonomics. I did enjoy most of the book, but some of the material got to be repetitive. One thing I couldn't help but notice is that they use a few examples of things that M. Gladwell has written about. They DO give him credit once in the book, but I couldn't shake the feeling that they might have piggybacked off of some of Gladwell's work. But I could be wrong. If you read Freakonomics I would recommend this just because it elaborates on some material.
I got this because I loved Freakonomics and I was not disappointed. These guys have such a unique way of looking at things and analyzing them. It has been a very entertaining and enlightening read. I eagerly await another one!
Great book!!!!! Statistics never lie - as long as they are analyzed correctly and related to reality. This book does that!!!! Only reason I didn't give it 5 Stars is this book could have covered many more subjects and I hope they put out another one.
Reviewer: Dave W