Saturday, July 31, 2010
"Fair" - The Word Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means
Here's a thought provoking video at Reason TV of experimental economist Bart Wilson of Chapman University talking about the concept of fairness. We have been trained over time to tend to think of equality of outcome as synonymous with "fair" and there may be an element of that in it. From Reason's blurb on the video: "[Wilson] argues that fairness should not be construed as equality of outcome, but as a process in which everyone plays by the rules and honors agreements. When lawmakers obscure the definition of this word, it may result in policy that is ineffective, arbitrary, and fundamentally unfair." One example he gives is how politicians have gone about deciding what constitutes a fair wage, rather than leaving the markets to sort out that question. Spend 8 minutes and watch the video.