Re: Market failure to sufficently weigh the future

Date: Wed Nov 01 2000 - 18:09:35 MST

Robin writes, quoting Hal:
> >Isn't it possible that the society which results from making all these
> >changes, even though they are intended to satisfy people's preferences,
> >is one in which people are less happy than they would have been without
> >them?
> As Nick emphasized, standard policy analysis isn't about what makes
> people happy, its about giving people what they want. And the fact is
> that people don't just want to be happy. They are willing to give up
> happiness to get other things.

I meant to be using "happy" as synonymous with "having preferences
satisified" or "maximizing utility". Let me try to boil it down to just
a couple of sentences, which summarize the argument I have been trying
to make.

Making changes to discount rates is motivated by satisfying people's
preferences. However, making this change will have side effects.
This could lead to people having fewer of their preferences satisfied.

Does that make sense?


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