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On rationing supply
why rationing create artificial supply and insatiable demand
My elder child just got into boarding at 13.
While I am most happy to be rid of her for the weekdays1, some parents who are in the same boat as me are visibly worried.
While some parents are worried about the education within the school or their child’s ability to cope with their newly independent life, some parents are really concern about another item.
During an online parent teacher meeting, a dad express his concern about his child’s handphone usage.
It seems that he had decided that her child is using the phone excessively and had set a quota of maximum four hours2 per day.
So everyday, the child tries to max out that four hours and in a circular manner become a person who must spend at least 4 hours a day on the phone. The very scarcity, created a habit to actively consume and thus resulted in entrenching the habit.
If there are no hours-restriction set, the child may go 12 hours or more on the phone and become totally an addict or become so sick of it or the child may finally realised that he/she is not getting work done and learn to build up adequate self-control to limit their phone usage?3
I guess letting the child fail is not something most parents are willing to live with and thus the 4 hours is a lesser of the both evils.
As human we often choose a stable but undesirable outcome than a volatile highly desirable-disastrous outcome.
This got me thinking about the car rationing system we have in Singapore and why our cars are the highly “utilised” in term of mileage on this super small island which is well serve with buses and trains.
Also thinking about the fishing rationing system throughout the world where we are fishing way beyond our consumption capacity. The captain of the fishing boat would rationalise by saying, “Let fish them up as we need to maximise our daily quota.”
While a system become high volatile, the outcome could be disastrous or be highly functioning.
By choosing stability, we are aiming for mediocrity or perpetual inefficiency?
Maybe the better way is to ban the handphone but who can march against the onslaught of progress?
I am unsure what is better and have no solution for any of the problem-solution mentioned for being a parent is tough enough endeavour.
She comes back on weekends
My daughter has unlimited usage to her phone. But she is taught since young to put away her phone when she is working. No multi-tasking but just one thing at a time.
I have no idea how is she coping in school. I am managing by objective here. If she fails, the punishment is that I am pulling her out from boarding and she will be away from her friend.