08 September 2014

Good Luck With That

An economist with a proposal to fix inequality:
If people married each other more randomly, poverty levels would be considerably lower than they are now.  If we abandoned all current family arrangements and randomly grouped all Bolivians into new families of 5 persons, poverty levels would fall by about 15 percentage points (from the current level of 55% of all households to about 40% of all households).  The Gini coefficient measuring inequality would also fall from about 0.70 to 0.55.
So one way to reduce inequality in Bolivia is to get women to be more random in mate selection.  Or, to state it another way, to be less concerned with getting the best man they can land.  Do economists ever realize how fucking stupid they sound when they say shit like this?

The reason why economic equality will always exist is because genetic (for lack of a better adjective) inequality will always exist.  Not everyone is a hard-charging go-getter with plans for conquering the world.  Not everyone has artistic tendencies, not everyone is a ruthless self-promoter, not everyone is a ripped athletic specimen.  Some women are willing to settle quickly for less-than-ideal mates; others are willing to wait longer to see if they can do better.  Some men won't stop being world-beaters until they land a supermodel trophy wife; other men will marry at age 20 to the first 6 that says yes.

We all make choices in life, most of which are gnetically influenced.  This is an intractable element of human nature and will never ever go away, no matter how many economists tell people to be more random in their marital choices.

Furthermore, inequality is not the absolute worst thing in the world.  Some people are quite content with being poor.  Beleive it or not, there are some people who don't view the accumulation of material goods as the be-all, end-all of life.  Consequently, they aren't really all they wealthy.  Some people are content with dropping out of the rat race so as to spend more time enjoying the finer things in life (I'm looking at you, Aaron Clarey).  Some people just don't care about being rich, or even middle-class, so why view their failure to attain such status as a problem if they don't?  It boggles the mind.

What's even more mind-boggling is how this trained economist could probably expalin how individual preferences work in micro but but completely ignores the role individual preferences when conducting macro analysis.  Perhaps he should read Steve Keen.