August 1, 2017

THE BOOGEYMAN THAT DIDN'T BARK:

Why people prefer unequal societies (Christina Starmans, Mark Sheskin & Paul Bloom, 4/07/17, Nature Human Behaviour)

[W]hen people are asked about the ideal distribution of wealth in their country, they actually prefer unequal societies. We suggest that these two phenomena can be reconciled by noticing that, despite appearances to the contrary, there is no evidence that people are bothered by economic inequality itself. Rather, they are bothered by something that is often confounded with inequality: economic unfairness. Drawing upon laboratory studies, cross-cultural research, and experiments with babies and young children, we argue that humans naturally favour fair distributions, not equal ones, and that when fairness and equality clash, people prefer fair inequality over unfair equality. 

Which is why a universal basic minimum will work.
Posted by at August 1, 2017 7:34 AM

  

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