Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest KJP

Income Inequality

Recommended Posts

Why Do Poor People Make Bad Decisions?

 by Jason Kottke   Mar 04, 2020

 

From The Correspondent, this is an article by Dutch historian Rutger Bregman about why poor people make low-quality decisions. In a nutshell, it’s because living in poverty overwhelms your brain, decreasing cognitive ability by a significant amount. The piece cites a number of supporting studies, but this one is perhaps the most relevant to separating cause from effect:

 

Shafir found what he was looking for some 8,000 miles away in the districts of Vilupuram and Tiruvannamalai in rural India. The conditions were perfect. As it happened, the area’s sugarcane farmers collect 60% of their annual income all at once right after the harvest. This means they are flush one part of the year and poor the other. So how did they do in the experiment?

 

At the time when they were comparatively poor, they scored substantially worse on the cognitive tests. Not because they had become less intelligent people somehow — they were still the same Indian sugarcane farmers, after all — but purely and simply because their mental bandwidth was compromised.

 

https://kottke.org/20/03/why-do-poor-people-make-bad-decisions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen a number of studies like this and they are definitely eye-opening, especially because similar things have been found regarding the poor in America (who may not have the best American living standards but from a global perspective stand a mile above Indian sugarcane farmers).  It is much easier to credit the notion that superior cognitive ability leads to wealth than that wealth leads to superior cognition.  (There are some dumb rich people out there.)

 

I assume there must be a point of diminishing returns, and maybe we'll understand one day what that is and how flexible/contextual it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anybody read Thomas Piketty's 2019 book, "Capitalism and Ideology"?  The review I read of it in the FT made me think the reviewer hadn't actually read it but was reviewing Piketty himself rather than the book.

 

Is there enough new in the book to make it worth the 1041 page reading? 


There's nothing wrong with optimism, as long as you don't get your hopes up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/25/2020 at 11:58 AM, Dougal said:

Has anybody read Thomas Piketty's 2019 book, "Capitalism and Ideology"?  The review I read of it in the FT made me think the reviewer hadn't actually read it but was reviewing Piketty himself rather than the book.

 

Is there enough new in the book to make it worth the 1041 page reading? 

 

Anybody?  Bueller?   Come on ... this is the guy who invented inequality!


There's nothing wrong with optimism, as long as you don't get your hopes up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Americans will inherit an estimated $764 billion in 2020, and pay an average tax of just 2.1% on that income, according to a study by New York University law professor Lily Batchelder earlier this year.

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/rich-americans-seize-historic-chance-to-pass-on-wealth-tax-free/ar-BB13tcN6?ocid=spartandhp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...