Your Lying Eyes

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23 November 2005

Why People Hate Economists

Arnold Kling explains that economists are rational while "people" are illogical, and so there's this perpetual conflict. But he doesn't help his cause with this bit of cluelessness:...Read more
Hardly anyone feels guilty about using tax preparation software rather than paying an accountant to handle their tax returns. Yet many people would tell you that there is something wrong with outsourcing tax preparation to accountants in India.
I explained why people feel this way in the comments section of his own blog, so I don't expect Mr. Kling to understand (or listen to) me here, but let me explain again: When you replace manual labor with machines, people view that as progress. The creative impulse of man inventing technological solutions to life's drudgeries - that's what we here in good ol' Western Civilization kind of strive for - it's kind of "our thing." Deciding to save a buck by going down the street (or half way across the world) and hiring some guy to do the same manual work but cheaper is not progress. It's just saving a buck. We Western Civ folk ain't much impressed by that kind of thing - some even consider it rather bad form. Any penny-pinching homeowner knows how to call up a few contractors to get an estimate to repave a driveway - that takes no special talent. But if some big paving machines can save you money by using less labor, then we are impressed. Should we be similarly impressed if some guy hires a gaggle of illegal Mexican immigrants to work cheaper than renting a machine? I don't think so - I think we'd consider that a bit of a step backward. Get it? Now is that so freakin' hard to understand?!

10 Comments:

Blogger Steve Sailer said...

I think you are better off not going immediately to a "read more" link. Most readers are more prepared to page down your homepage than to jump to another page, which means they have to jump back to your homepage, so leave more text up longer on your home page.

November 24, 2005 3:29 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

But I spent hours figuring out how to do it! Oh well.

November 25, 2005 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the Read More feature.

(actually I don't care either way but I think the learning of new things should be encouraged :-) )

November 26, 2005 9:10 AM  
Anonymous daveg said...

I don't like the read more feature, but if you are going to use it include much more text before adding the read more link.

November 28, 2005 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Dano said...

Isn't inventing the machine to replace the labor just saving a buck?

Efficiency in cost is progress in the global economy. Eventually all boats will be lifted once we sink a few. Sadly many Americans will need to learn to swim.

November 28, 2005 5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, people replaced by automation quite often make a lot of fuss, even in the West...

/ Döbeln

December 02, 2005 4:51 AM  
Blogger Manhattan Transfer said...

'Read more' is a good way to make money off of blogadds or google addsense. That's why sites like Gawker use it so frequently. Otherwise there's no reason to use it except for very long posts.

December 02, 2005 10:35 AM  
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