Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Economic inequality and education inequality.

Listening to conversations about the state of our country would lead me to believe that everything that is going wrong in our country is the fault of the government, and/or the rich people. From the perspective of someone who knows a little about free markets and how trade works, I'd like to challenge that, and explain why society seems to misappropriate blame.

First of all, in a free market society, the way that growth in the economy occurs is by individuals striving to maximize their utility, or in other words, people do what makes them happy, and because people are happy with different things and different jobs, they end up with different quantities of wealth, thus naturally, some people would be wealthier than others. The way a situation where everyone is equally wealthy would come about would be to limit the opportunities of those who would become wealthier than others which would result in less total wealth for the society, and ultimately lower quality of life, because if people don't have something to strive for, why bother.

Secondly, the government being blamed for problems is like blaming a doctor for not curing cancer. We live in a country which has a representative republic, which means that policy decisions are largely in keeping with the wants of the greatest number of people, or at least the loudest. Which means that the problem originates with us as a society. This points to a problem in what the majority of people want, but somehow the majority of people don't see the problem.

Which brings me to why this occurs.
People place blame when they feel entitled to something that they don't have, and are misinformed about why they don't have the thing that they feel entitled to receive. Additionally, when people are misinformed they are more likely to misallocate the blame onto people or organizations that might help the situation, simply because the people really have no idea. This is what is occurring in our society today, as the population grows larger, and unfortunately quality of education declines, especially economic education, the majority of people don't know what a good decision looks like, and so when someone comes along and starts blaming the government or rich people for the problems of our country, people are willing to agree, because is sounds plausible if they don't know what is actually going on.

And so, I urge people, and society as a whole, before you start taking for granted what people say about the government or "the one percent" do some research, find out what is going on, and then make an educated decision, rather than just following the often uninformed crowd.

No comments:

Post a Comment