Sunday, July 09, 2017

Inequality

This seems so obvious to me that I'm surprised it came from the BBC:
In a paper published in April in the journal Nature Human Behaviour called ‘Why people prefer unequal societies’, a team of researchers from Yale University argue that humans – even as young children and babies – actually prefer living in a world in which inequality exists. It sounds counter-intuitive, so why would that be? Because if people find themselves in a situation where everyone is equal, studies suggest that many become angry or bitter if people who work hard aren’t rewarded, or if slackers are over-rewarded...

“We argue that the public perception of wealth inequality itself being aversive to most people is incorrect, and that instead, what people are truly concerned about is unfairness,” says Christina Starmans, a psychology post-doc at Yale who worked on the paper.

“In the present-day US, and much of the world, these two issues are confounded, because there is so much inequality that the assumption is that it must be unfair. But this has led to an incorrect focus on wealth inequality itself as the problem that needs addressing, rather than the more central issue of fairness.”

Starman’s co-author Mark Sheskin, a cognitive science post-doc at Yale, puts the findings of this research succinctly: “People typically prefer fair inequality to unfair equality”.  (Boldface mine--Darren)
This comports entirely with common sense, and also explains why socialism/communism doesn't work.
The reason this matters is that trying to create a world with no wealth disparity is at odds with people’s perception of fairness, and that could potentially lead to instability. A society where no poverty exists sounds rather utopian, but if that society is equal-but-unfair then it risks collapsing, argues Nicholas Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford University.
You socialists--you don't want to deny science, do you?

1 comment:

Anna A said...

This makes sense to me. I don't mind inventors making good money off of something that makes life easier, such as Post it notes. However, when a businessman chooses to really up the price on a life saving item, like the Epi-Pen, I want to see the book of law and social opinion thrown at him. I could not be on the jury, because I have judged him, by his actions.