- Sep 2022
Unemployed workers are much more likelyto fall into poverty in countries like the United States, Canada, and Japan,compared with countries such as the Netherlands and Iceland.
Is part of this effect compounded by America's history of the Protestant work ethic (see Max Weber)?
Do the wealthy/powerful benefit by this structure of penalizing the unemployed this way? Is there a direct benefit to them? Or perhaps the penalty creates a general downward pressure on overall wages and thus provides an indirect benefit to those in power?
What are the underlying reasons we tax the unemployed this way?
The cost of child poverty is not just borne by the poor. When the expenses related tolost productivity, crime, and poor health are added up, it is estimated that child povertycosts the nation between $800 billion and $1.1 trillion per year. This is vastly higherthan the estimated $90 to $111 billion per year it would take to implement a programpackage that would lift half of children out of poverty.
The savings indicated here is almost a factor of 10! How can we not be doing this?
Compare with statistics and descriptions from Why Fewer American Children Are Living in Poverty (New York Times, The Daily, 2022-09-26)
Mark Robert Rank
Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare Washington University in Saint Louis,
- open questions
- penalizing poverty
- Mark Robert Rank
- Protestant work ethic
- social taxes
- child poverty
- Washington University in Saint Louis
- lost productivity
- social welfare
- human resources
- power over
- social safety nets
- toxic capitalism
Gladwell, Malcolm. “Million-Dollar Murray.” The New Yorker, February 5, 2006. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/02/13/million-dollar-murray (.pdf copy available at https://housingmatterssc.org/million-dollar-murray/)
- Mar 2021
In the Camerer, Loewenstein and Weber's article, it is mentioned that the setting closest in structure to the market experiments done would be underwriting, a task in which well-informed experts price goods that are sold to a less-informed public. Investment bankers value securities, experts taste cheese, store buyers observe jewelry being modeled, and theater owners see movies before they are released. They then sell those goods to a less-informed public. If they suffer from the curse of knowledge, high-quality goods will be overpriced and low-quality goods underpriced relative to optimal, profit-maximizing prices; prices will reflect characteristics (e.g., quality) that are unobservable to uninformed buyers ("you get what you pay for"). The curse of knowledge has a paradoxical effect in these settings. By making better-informed agents think that their knowledge is shared by others, the curse helps alleviate the inefficiencies that result from information asymmetries (a better informed party having an advantage in a bargaining situation), bringing outcomes closer to complete information. In such settings, the curse on individuals may actually improve social welfare.
How might one exploit this effect to more proactively improve and promote social welfare?
- Feb 2021
Prime, H., Wade, M., May, S., Jenkins, J., & Browne, D. (2021). The COVID-19 Family Stressor Scale: Validation and Measurement Invariance in Female and Male Caregivers. PsyArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/7328w
- family stress
- mental health
- basic need
- social disruption
- parental mental health
- child mental health
- Oct 2020
Hone, T., Mirelman, A. J., Rasella, D., Paes-Sousa, R., Barreto, M. L., Rocha, R., & Millett, C. (2019). Effect of economic recession and impact of health and social protection expenditures on adult mortality: A longitudinal analysis of 5565 Brazilian municipalities. The Lancet Global Health, 7(11), e1575–e1583. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(19)30409-7
- Sep 2020
Berman, J. Z., & Kupor, D. (2020). Moral Choice When Harming Is Unavoidable: Psychological Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797620948821
- Aug 2020
Welfare States, Labor Markets, Social Investment and the Digital Transformation. COVID-19 and the Labor Market. (n.d.). IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. Retrieved August 1, 2020, from https://covid-19.iza.org/publications/dp13391/
- Jul 2020
Breznau, N. (2020). The Welfare State and Risk Perceptions: The Novel Coronavirus Pandemic and Public Concern in 70 Countries. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/96fd2
- Apr 2016
The Finnish government is currently drawing up plans to introduce a national basic income. A final proposal won’t be presented until November 2016, but if all goes to schedule, Finland will scrap all existing benefits and instead hand out €800 ($870) per month—to everyone.