Monday, 29 May 2017

Killer Arguments For Basic Income


Interesting to see the speaker flagging up the old myth that the poor are a breed apart. Homo Pauperens perhaps. William Cobbett in the C19th was complaining about this view, if I remember correctly.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Whether you end up poor or not is largely down to luck. In which country and when you are born, whether you are ugly/OK looking, stupid/clever, disabled/not disabled, that is all pre-determined at birth.

A lucky minority inherit their position (the UK legal profession, landed gentry, family business, hereditary politicians etc), the remaining bit is down to a few lucky or unlucky decisions or events and of course, those who don't inherit their position can't cash in their luck unless they do some proper productive hard work. Those who don't get much luck just have to work hard or starve (whereby the capacity to work hard is also largely a genetically pre-determined trait).

Bayard said...

I think it's a bit more random than that. You can be lucky enough to be born into a rich family, but unlucky in that you will not be born intelligent and spend your life making bad decisions and end up poor. The point the speaker is making is that, regardless of how you got there, once you are poor your decision-making capability is impaired which inhibits your ability to ameliorate your situation.

It's a pity he didn't go more into the evolutionary and psychological aspects of "scarcity mentality", but perhaps he simply didn't have the time.