Tuesday, June 27, 2017

About the gains from our economically viable choices

Responding to Peter J. Boettke's Don’t Be “a jibbering idiot” PDF.

Toward the end of yesterday's post I pointed out that even though only economically viable options are chosen, the choice does not always help to "lift humanity from the miserable condition." Even if only the most viable options are chosen.

Concentrated gains outweigh widely distributed gains. Concentrated gains tend to lift the few and lower the many. Given the increase of inequality, there is a point beyond which the gains from economically viable choices are not sufficiently distributed to permit us to say that "humanity" is lifted. It is only below this determining point that the distribution of gains assures the lifting of humanity.

The location of the determining point will change as inequality changes.

Then too, the gains themselves change as the economy evolves, becoming generally more pecuniary. Gains that are increasingly pecuniary provide less social advantage, and contribute in their own way to greater inequality.

Beyond that, extreme inequality may cause the economy to change in such a way that the most economically viable options seem to promote something other than the advance of civilization.

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