Must-Read: Matt Bruenig: People Aren’t Better Off Than Income Trends Show

Matt Bruenig: People Aren’t Better Off Than Income Trends Show: “When people embark on this sort of priming…

…they always ask people to hypothetically imagine themselves living in a world three or four decades ago, and then ask them what price would be required to get them to do so. Since you are attached to the technologies and media of your time, you inevitably say that it would require a huge premium to go back in time…. But it’s clear that the people who actually lived as adults through both technological periods overwhelmingly prefer older technologies…. This is not to say that some technology isn’t better and more additive to well-being than others. It’s just to say that the intuition pump of asking people habituated to current technology to consider what it would be like to live under older technology is not really helpful in proving anything. It doesn’t disentangle better from familiar, and therefore does not properly identify how much each factor is actually driving any willingness to take an income cut to stick with what you currently like.

June 19, 2015

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