Economics

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Playing the stock market is like gambling. Such speculative investing has no social value, other than the pleasure people get from this form of gambling. On the surface, this seems true. Folks are just buying and selling and hoping the difference will end up in their checkbook. They are not improving the lives of others, encouraging certain business practices, buying and using goods, or hiring and training workers. In fact, the businesses that they buy and sell may never matter to them and never know about their activity. So, what social value was there? However, upon deeper reflection, there might be more. The buying and selling creates liquidity in a public market and permits business to obtain cheap funding for projects that produce jobs, feed communities, train workers and support charities. And, to the extent that playing the stock market educates the investor (no telling if it does or not), the investor might learn about company activities and get interested in particular firms and support their goals. This evolution from disinterested to interested/active may or may not occur but it is possible. Yes, they might be trying to beat the odds, as in a black jack game but this activity might be ultimately educational and provides the grease that lubricates the capital markets.

Playing the stock market is like gambling. Such speculative investing has no social value, other than the pleasure people get from this form of gambling. On the surface, this seems true. Folks are just buying and selling and hoping the difference will end up in their checkbook. They are not improving the lives of others, encouraging certain business practices, buying and using goods, or hiring and training workers. In fact, the businesses that they buy and sell may never matter to them and never know about their activity. So, what social value was there? However, upon deeper reflection, there might be more. The buying and selling creates liquidity in a public market...
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