Poverty may be miserable. But being able to feel a bit better-off than someone else makes it a bit more bearable.
Economists from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggest that people near the bottom end of financial inequity are less likely to be in favour of programs that will help increase their income if those programs will also help those lower on the scale than they are.
...the authors of the new paper argue that people don’t like to be at the bottom. One paradoxical consequence of this “last-place aversion” is that some poor people may be vociferously opposed to the kinds of policies that would actually raise their own income a bit but that might also push those who are poorer than them into comparable or higher positions. The authors ran a series of experiments where students were randomly allotted sums of money, separated by $1, and informed about the “income distribution” that resulted. They were then given another $2, which they could give either to the person directly above or below them in the distribution. The people who were a spot away from the bottom were the most likely to give the money to the person above them..
This may also explain why Warren Buffet's cry to stop coddling the rich (previously
) will continue to fall on deaf ears.
posted by asnider
on Aug 16, 2011 -
Millionaires' Havens, Heavens And Hell Holes:
Ghastly, depressing Monaco
comes in for a deserved drubbing from Philip Delves Broughton in this week's Spectator
. The idea of billionaires surfing the Web looking for a hide-out makes me giggle and gag, but it appears poor people can play too. Have a look at (free!) e-zine Escape From America
; run your index finger down a list
of tax havens
and choose the
you'd scarper off to, if your money problems, whether from excess or lack of money, ever become too [sorry...
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Nov 29, 2002 -
isn't this exactly opposite of what we're being told? I'm always hearing the wealthy are benefitting somehow from GWB's new tax plan. I'm certainly no-where near the top 5%, and now I don't want to be.
posted by the_0ne
on Apr 9, 2002 -