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What is the injustice here?



The fact that poor people spend more money on things than rich people, once you include replacing them when they wear out.

Or do you think that it's just that the poor people are held down?

(Cue stories about people working their way out of poverty and thus proving the poverty trap isn't a real thing)


I see an interesting form of this that isn't exclusive to the poor: daycare.

My wife has the luxury of not having to work so we have never used daycare. That's tens of thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours driving, not getting sick all the time, not needing a second car, the list goes on not to mention the immeasurable cost of missing out on the absolute best hours of your child's life.


In the US. Over here daycare is paid by taxes, free for everyone regardless of income or employment status, and in the city you'll likely have the daycare within a couple of blocks so no extra car needed either. Yes you'll get a cold more often thanks to all the germs, but sick days don't eat to your salary or holidays (also sick time on holidays gets reimbursed!) so no monetary loss.

You'll miss out on a lot of the time with your kid, but on the other hand they get to socialize a lot more from a very young age already. Some parents also burn out at home after a while, but that of course depends on the person.

I realize this went quite offtopic, sorry about that.


Thanks for sharing and helping reduce my ignorance on the subject. I'll be honest, any social service we have in Canada, I just assume the US has it worse.

I believe we have cheap or free subsidized daycare too but it's generally terrible. There's also 12 month waiting lists where I live. My colleagues all pay tens of thousands.


Sorry if I was unclear, my report was from an European standpoint. I just assumed you're from the US, probably based on the yearly cost you mentioned.


Ohh okay. From Canada. Free if you don't make much money. I thought you were initializing with "I'm in the US".


Poor people don't pay what rich people pay for daycare because they daisy chain together some combination of under the table daycare and relatives.

There's obviously trade-offs to that approach but my point is that upper middle class patterns of behavior shouldn't be projected up and down the economic ladder.

Upper middle class people call a plumber. Poor people call a plumber that owes them a favor.. Etc, etc. and so on and so fourth. It's a whole different economy and a lot of the patterns surrounding the crap in life that saps your money are totally different.


Some basic philosophical disagreements revolve around this. One mans injustice is another's evolutionary survival of the fittest where patience, planning, and low time preference are strongly rewarded by the system. One mans injustice is lack of equality of opportunity, another's is lack of equality of outcome.

There's a quote often falsely attributed to John Wayne "Life is hard; it’s harder when you’re stupid". Some folks see that as good, some as bad. A classic argument of individualism vs collectivism. Obviously the individual is better off if individual stupidity is not punished and obviously the civilization is better off, especially in the long run, if stupidity is punished, so opinions on punishment usually simplify down to an argument about individualism vs collectivism.


The John Wayne quote is a slightly different thing. I don't think its particularly controversial to suggest that stupidity should not be rewarded as well as the absence of that stupidity (calling it punishment may turn some people off, even if it means the same thing).

The Vimes example is about the fact that being poor to start with is more expensive in its own right.

Vimes does not make a stupid decision not to buy the expensive boots, they are simply more than he can afford in any reasonable period.

There is another saying "making your first million is hard, making your second million is inevitable"


It should be noted the book called it the "theory of socioeconomic unfairness", not "injustice".


The rich get richer and the poor only get poorer. It's the principle as old as the bible, and the Vimes part simply puts it into very accessible terms that everyone can identify with.


> the poor only get poorer

This is demonstrably, dramatically false.

"The headline could be "The number of people in extreme poverty fell by 130,000 since yesterday” and they wouldn’t have this headline once, but every single day since 1990, since, on average, there were 130,000 people fewer in extreme poverty every day." https://ourworldindata.org/a-history-of-global-living-condit...

Both the quality and duration of life for "the poor" have increased dramatically over the last decades and centuries. https://ourworldindata.org/life-expectancy-globally

For a "real-time" visualization, see https://worldpoverty.io/index.html

We aren't doing as well as we'd like to be, but the world is making dramatic progress.


Perhaps that in theory it's more expensive to be poor?


> Therefore over a period of ten years, he might have paid out a hundred dollars on boots, twice as much as the man who could afford fifty dollars up front ten years before. And he would still have wet feet.


Poor people are forced to spend more on everything. Finance is a great example. In the USA, banks find poor people unprofitable. To remedy this, they created two institutions:

* ChexSystems, a credit reporting service for bank accounts

* Payday loans, a predatory lending system which takes 4-8% of a person's paycheck to cash it instantly instead of waiting a couple of days.

ChexSystems is designed to identify poor people and ban them from the banking system so that they have to give their round of flesh to shylocks in order to buy food and pay rent. This is one of the more egregious attacks on the poor in the USA, but there are tens of thousands of them to be honest.




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