A footnote and beyond

Cafe Hayek is a blog that has influenced me since Year 2006.

A post on this blog can serve as an interesting footnote to my previous post on Chinese “rational irrationality”(quoting John Cassidy). But Don has a deeper point that I appreciate very much: He emphasized that income inequality is not as important as many who champion “redistriution” believe it to be. In fact, the “relative disadvantage” of human society is multidimensional, among which income is one of the most noticeable. Redistribution (or equality) on pecuniary income redirect attention and inequality to other non-monetary dimensions – to name a few, power, status, intelligence and appearance.

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  • yxysamurai  On October 2, 2011 at 10:28 am


    Actually, I’ve always been confused by concepts closely related to “rationality”. For me, a more familiar concept is “measurability”. Beautiful mathematical theories could be established on measurable sets, measurable functions, etc. But little is knows about non-measurable ones. While most serious mathematicians are always very cautious about what could be concluded, many rationalists may fail to do so, a phenomenon which seems not to be that “rational”.

    Money is credit, power, also a simple measure hence a powerful transformation which can map various things into a relatively well-defined space. Elements in non-monetary dimensions might be projected to this monetary space in some cases. But such projections are more likely to be case-varying and/or time-varying. Moreover, this transformation may fail to preserve all the original information, e.g. culture effect and so on.

  • mumamme  On October 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    To follow up, we like to measure things because by doing so we can hedge risks among them.

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