Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hire a Protester

A German company offers young Germans that you can hire to protest for your cause:
Young, good-looking, and available for around 150 euros (£100), more than 300 would-be protesters are marketing themselves on a German rental website. They feature next to cars, DVDs, office furniture and holiday homes.

Next time you want me to postpone a test, just hire some Germans to protest outside my apartment...

(Source: Marginal Revolution)


Anonymous said...

I think that the basis for this idea is a bit hard to believe. However, i do see some economic concepts that we have talked about this semester. The main one was in the beauty article. The article said that people are hired for certain jobs based on qualifications such as beauty and sex appeal. The example given was of a flight attendant. This concept also applies to the German protestors. The protestors are described as good looking people to fight for your cause. Also, the photos of the people are taken next to cars to further their beauty. The job qualifications for being a protestor are breathing and good looks. Doesn't sound very fair to me.


Anonymous said...

I can see how this might sometimes make sense from the protestors point of view because the article states that they sometimes believe in the cause they are fighting for. So, they are being paid to fight against something that would help them, and maybe they would be protesting anyways. Also, I believe it is fair to hire them by judging them based on looks if it helps to be more productive, even though I do not really understand how that would help protesting.

-Kate C.

Anonymous said...

I think this is really weird to hire people to protest your cause for you instead of getting people to actually care about the cause, but in the case of the old people that were not able to march outside in protest it might be somewhat acceptable. I think Schulz is right about how hiring people who look good might get more people interested in your casue. -Carrie

Anonymous said...

I always thought that the point of protesting was to demonstrate your particular view points and while by paying for stand-in protesters you indirectly get the same job done, it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. If you believe in a topic enough to pay someone else to stand there for you, it seems like you could stand there yourself. Like the last line in the article said, democracy is for sale. As Nick pointed out, our culture has turned to a basis of appearance. The German protestors are advertised as good-looking probably increasing production although they are supposed to be selling their slogan, not themselves.


Anonymous said...

I'm not exactly sure what I think about this. On one level I would say there's nothing wrong with this at all and may even be productive. If you have someone else arguing for you, you don't have to experience the costs of getting in a argument with someone and physically opposing them. Instead you just pay money upfront. However, after consideration, I would have to say, there are probably more costs in the long run because in order to have someone aruge for you, you would have to take the implicit costs of informing them of the issue. Plus the expenses of having them come from Germany would probably be excessive. You might as well invest you time in arguing yourself because it would be alot easier than education someone else about your problem so they could argue about it.

-John Schmidt

Anonymous said...

So i agree with everyone that commented, but i wanted to bring up another point about protesting; Numbers... Lets say that there is a protest going on with 5 people that are die hard group members that truely do beleive in their cause... this might cause the person they are protesting against to come out with a broom to shoo them off. Now if these 5 protestors were to hire... lets say 30 guys to come out and protest with them, then the benefit will most likely show up later. Small protests usually occur and no one wants to join in due to the humiliation of being one of those 5 guys fighting for something that many other beleive in but do not have the guts to actually stand up for. When there are around 30 guys standing outside protesting it allows more people to join in without feeling a little stupid about joining the protest while most likely it will be a bigger subject throughout the news, informing more people about the protest. I also want to disagree with part of J Schmidt's idea about the implicit costs of having to inform the protestors about the protest because true fully you could just hand them a poster and that could make quite a huge difference.

-R Schoettler

Anonymous said...

I think its a good idea for a business. These Germans are taking something so simple as standing outside holding and yelling and turning it into a money making business. While the idea is not very orthodox, if the plan makes money for these people I say that it is a good idea. As pointed out in our society, looks are always a positive factor: with more attractive protestors its almost garunteed that your protest will recieve more attention. They might not be the most commited and most passionate about the topic you want them to protest, but numbers sure do help a cause.

-Nick Wellmon