RIP Philo

Economic theory of helping miserable losers out?

Is there an economic theory that shows a relationship between poor stupid slobs who get themselves into a bad situation and your quality of life?

That is, if you can take steps to prevent stupid people from getting themselves into crippling debt, does your life improve?
Permalink Michael B 
March 28th, 2007 10:50pm
I am more curious about an economic theory that helps miserable loser countries not to take loans from another countries to go to war. I hope you know what I'm sayin'!
Permalink Dan Denman 
March 28th, 2007 10:55pm
Totally lost me.
Permalink Michael B 
March 28th, 2007 11:03pm
Dat omdat u een idiot bent.
Permalink Send private email Sergei Rachmaninoff 
March 28th, 2007 11:16pm
"If you can take steps to prevent stupid people from getting themselves into crippling debt, does your life improve?"

Are you asking if it benefits society to prevent predators from taking advantage of people?
Permalink Practical Economist 
March 28th, 2007 11:19pm
"Are you asking if it benefits society to prevent predators from taking advantage of people?"

Hmm...

Yes, I am.
Permalink Michael B 
March 29th, 2007 12:00am
OK, well it can. But in practice, you instead see the State establish systems to give itself the monopoly on victimization, such as the state lottery systems, aka the Stupidity Tax.
Permalink Practical Economist 
March 29th, 2007 12:03am
> prevent stupid people from getting themselves into crippling debt

I can't wait until China and Japan finally come to their senses about the US.
Permalink son of parnas 
March 29th, 2007 12:10am
There was a guy on the daily show awhile back that ran an organization that loaned money at super low rates to the less well-to-do. I think they were pretty successful.
Permalink JoC 
March 29th, 2007 10:14am
in that industry you CAN win on the volume. There are a LOT of poor people.

The second richest man in this country has done exactly that.  He loans to poor people to buy basic stuff (a bed, a stove, etc) and they pay a ridiculous low amount of money (maybe they pay $1 a week). Now he has a bank and he lets to poor people to open an account with $2. He is not a samaritan, of course, but he is making lots of money.
Permalink Send private email Masiosare 
March 29th, 2007 11:48am
"That is, if you can take steps to prevent stupid people from getting themselves into crippling debt, does your life improve?"

Yes. Well, the condition of your society improves, and that helps you out. Stupid people in impossible situations are a burden on society, and by preventing them ending up in that situation, you a) prevent massive social spending, and b) get more functional workers.

The latter, while it may sound iffy, is actually very important, as even stupid people can be valuable savants. I was once drinking with a Norwegian who told me about his girlfriend's little brother. The kid stopped going to school and just sat on his couch all day playing videogames until he was too old (and this is in Norway, where 23-year-old high school seniors are not uncommon). The guy was completely maladjusted. Then his sister started working for an oil company, and learned that they had a problem. There's an unmanned diving vehicle used for checking and fixing the underwater bits of oil rigs, and it needed a good operator. The controls were modelled on game consoles. So the kid became a contributing member of society, getting the same contract as oil riggers, and was paid massive amounts even by Norwegian standards.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
March 29th, 2007 1:43pm

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