[ExI] Status, Envy, and Economics

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun Feb 17 22:25:02 UTC 2008

Ankara writes

> Let's rephrase the question....
> Would you rather earn twice as much per year or 10/25th of what others 
> do?

I don't see what you are trying to get at.  If it were just a comparison
between *two* times a much than someone else gets and *2/5* as
much, then the answer would be clear.  You must mean something

> Under these circumstances, who would believe that prices/resources not 
> be affected?

It's a subtle economic point, but you *can* have wealth increase 
without a necessary effect on the value of money.  Recall that
the only real thing that determines the value of money is the same
thing that determines the value of everything: supply and demand.

So when people ask consider, say, "everyone is now making
$200,000 instead of $50,000", please please take it to mean
that we have evolved to a more prosperous nation, and that
this reflects true wealth.

OF COURSE this is difficult to imagine, just as it would have
been difficult for someone living in 1900 to imagine that people
living in 2000 would all be twice as rich (or so).  It really does
have *nothing* to do with nominal prices.


> I too want twice as much as others.

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