There is a common presumption, especially in economics, that people are better off when they can satisfy their preferences and desires. Thus, it is concluded that it is possible to measure people's well-being by measuring how well they satisfy their preferences and what they are willing to pay in order to do so. But is this reasonable?

Views: 26

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

You raise an interesting question. I don't have any empirical data at my disposal, but I would hazard that there is indeed some connection between the ability to obtain what one wants and one's overall well-being. Clearly, however, there are many exceptions to this rule. The problem--and it's a problem endemic to economics as a discipline--is that what people want is not always rational even to the people themselves. Economists operate on the assumption that people act rationally, or at least according to self-interest, but that premise is demonstrably false in many cases. Witness the raft of working-class Americans who vote Republican. Indeed, many voters who pulled the lever for Bush in 2004 regretted their decision a short while later.
The U.S. is willing to pay double what the rest of the world pays for health care so we've gotta be pretty damn happy with it. Twice as happy!

RSS

Forum

Recommendation

Started by David Boots in Theistic Arguments and Debate Help. Last reply by JadeBlackOlive 17 hours ago. 1 Reply

The Rise of Existence/Cosmos/Creation

Started by Andrew Brown in Small Talk. Last reply by Reg The Fronkey Farmer 2 hours ago. 8 Replies

Raided

Started by JadeBlackOlive in Small Talk. Last reply by Gregg RThomas yesterday. 1 Reply

New Solution for Plastic Waste?

Started by JadeBlackOlive in Small Talk. Last reply by TJ 9 hours ago. 10 Replies

Blog Posts

The First Lie

Posted by Andrew Brown on April 24, 2017 at 12:46pm 11 Comments

13 April

Posted by Noon Alif on April 24, 2017 at 7:08am 0 Comments

© 2017   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service