6 Responses to Liberty 5-3000, Meet Pennsylvania 6-5000

  1. Anon73 January 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    Roderick, what is your view on that old chestnut “If you’re going to bring gum to class, make sure to bring enough for everyone”. Scientists did a study where they determined this notion of “fairness” is present in apes:

    “”People often forgo an available reward because it is not what they expect or think is fair,” says Brosnan. “Such irrational behavior has baffled scientists and economists, who traditionally have argued all economic decisions are rational. Our findings in nonhuman primates indicate the emotional sense of fairness plays a key role in such decision-making.””

    -http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030918092951.htm

    I think this could be explained by evolutionary biology, because in the distant evolutionary past tribes that handed out rewards based on favoritism, not merit, would not prosper as much. Otherwise why would the behavior be present in apes AND humans?

  2. Gary Chartier January 15, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Why would it be irrational to forego a reward if one though that accepting the reward was unfair?

    • Anon73 January 15, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

      Well a reward is a reward. Suppose you do a job that pays $20 an hour – and you believe that’s a fair exchange. If suddenly you realize everybody else was getting $30 an hour, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re doing work that’s worth $20.

      • JOR January 16, 2010 at 5:43 am #

        But if you believe it’s a fair exchange, why is it irrational to be content with it? Is it irrational to value fairness? I suppose you could say that the sense of fairness is “emotional”, but then on the same model, so is the sense of prosperity, or success, or whatever.

        • Anon73 January 16, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

          But once an individual chooses to value success, then the question becomes why value fairness? In standard Austrian analysis two individuals make an exchange that each party perceives as more beneficial than what they are giving up. So there’s a certain subjectivism…. if two other individuals make their exchange and perceive themselves to be better off as well, then why should the first exchange suddenly become meaningless just because the second one was more fruitful?

  3. Not Jenny January 16, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    “Union 7-5309.”

    Hilarious. I’m sure Ayn was a fan of Tommy Tutone.

Leave a Reply to JOR Click here to cancel reply.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes