- Yes, the word "fair" is overloaded; this is a problem when discussing things like this because everyone has their own idea of what is and isn't fair, and expects it to match the other person's.
mat.tia wrote:if there are two persons, one starving with 0.50$ in a wallet, one obese but with 1.50$, the second person gets both slices of pizza I am selling.
I presume that you are selling the slices for $.75, so the first person can't afford a slice, and the second can afford both.
mat.tia wrote:...the second gets cured if has more money than the first.
I presume in this case the doctor put his services up for auction? Otherwise, if both can pay the asking price, how to decide? (You didn't say "didn't have enough money", you said "one had more money"). Do you actually mean it this way?
mat.tia wrote:...you can observe a general tendency in our past: whenever an economical system's meaning of "fair" deviates too much from the broader, "human?", meaning of "fair", corrections, if not revolutions, are applied to it.
I'm not convinced this has anything to do with the concept of fairness. It's always the ones on the short end of the stick that revolt. They cry "unfair" for marketing purposes, but the reason
they revolt is that they aren't getting any, and they want some.
There is no perfect system. Both capitalism and communism (and socialism and a lot of other isms) have valuable ideas to add, but they all have big failings too.
mat.tia wrote:This is just to say that our current economical system, with its assumptions and rules, can be, and should be, revised if we think its "fairness" has parted too much from our common sense meaning of "fair".
Unfairness is a consequence of fairness. Trivial example - it's fair that I make a profit, and increase my estate over my lifetime. It's fair that I may leave my entire estate to my son... and he to his... and the pile keeps getting bigger and bigger. Soon we have one very rich man. UNFAIR!
The reverse is also true.
It's about balance, and how to decide how to find the right balance.
ucim wrote:"Quality of life" is more of a vector than a scalar. Further, it's a vector with a time component and feedback loops that makes it more like a vector function (or surface).
Semantically speaking, I would say that a vector function could be a model for quality of life, not that quality of life is a vector function.
No, I mean it the way I said it. A function is a rule for applying a value given another value. "Quality of life" is a vector value whose value depends on how far in the future we are looking. To embrace the entire idea, it needs to be thought of as a function of time.
But semantics are not the point of it. The point is that it's not monotonic. In broad strokes many people might agree that this situation is "better" than that one, if they are different enough in certain ways. But you cannot generally do this; thus the proverb: "Be careful what you wish for - you might get it."
ucim wrote:The most important part is just whose hand will be on the steering wheel. No, I take that back - the most important part is how we decide whose hand (if anybody) will be on the wheel. And if we are going to vote on it, how? (If we vote with dollars, we've disconnected the steering wheel).
In Democracy, the majority of a country's population. How? Voting - not with $-: one vote each, expressed through a pencil (maybe with a computer in US?).
This would entail setting up a democratically elected Economic Council, who would be empowered to.... what?
Regulate the output of factories?
Regulate who can buy how much of what?
Do you see any way this can go wrong?
It would be clearer if it were inflation-adjusted. (edit: It is.)
But just a quick glance at the chart:
1950: red line is at 12K, green line is at 40K, top blue line is at 63K
2000: red line is at 29K, green line is at 110K, top blue line is at 195k
So yes, the spread is increasing, somewhat, based on that chart's numbers. But inflation is also a big deal - it's a hidden tax. Government gets the benefit of a devaluaing currency inasmuch as assets that do not appreciate in real value still show up as worth a larger number of dollars. That difference is taxed even though it does not represent a true gain. Yes, it's taxed at a lower rate, but the correct rate should be zero. Nonetheless, it's viewed as an "unfair loophole".
Here's a distortion of the graph
to account for inflation (edit: that makes relative changes more evident).
(It's a copy with perspective by Gimp. Alas, I couldn't figure out how to simply do a trapezoid distortion instead of perspective, so this view exaggerates the 1950s and de-emphasizes the present. (I needed to make the present smaller to make the lines more-or-less horizontal). However, if you can see past that, it shows the relative movement of the various percentiles better than the original. (Of course, it's the same data, with the same other issues). Try to ignore the "equal dollars" lines; they create an optical illusion.