JANUARY 9, 2013 12:03PM

The Tweakonomics of Drunk Welfare Recipients at Strip Club

Rate: 3 Flag

 For MEB, forever and ever.

 De gustibus non disputandam, there's not accounting for tastes,is a standard trope of economics, except that we do, don't we?

That's why the discipline of Tweakonomics was created. 

It was almost too bad that the story of New York City welfare recipients going to the strip club for drinks and watching probably not so pretty naked women gyrate, but hey, everyone needs a little appreciation now and then, didn't get more media traction, as it was a teachable moment in the science known as tweakonomics.

Perhaps the Teacher in Chief should explain the economic theory involved? 

Now regular economists, who don't have the advanced Kentucky Fried Doctorate of Tweakonomics, are all in favor of welfare recipients boozing it up at the strip club, and regularly teach that in introductory classes.

Well, they don't usually use that as an example, revealing in itself, but the standard economic theory says that more choices are better than less choices, including what one can buy with public assistance.

Therefore, so goes the standard economist in Microeconomics 101 in any college, since cash is more fungible than say food stamps, and dollar bills most definitely fit better in a garter belt than a funny looking stamp, just giving welfare recipients cash is better than giving them various coupons and such for things we think poor people need to buy, like food and housing, with booze and strippers usually not on the list.

To not accept that logic implies a word much dreaded by conventional economists of the Left and Right, if for very different reasons: paternalism. 

Just remember that since welfare recipients aren't exactly getting rich, it's not like they are going to the A list clubs, more like the Kentucky Fried Professor's favorite Hard Times Dive Bar, the Green Frog or something like that in Panama City, Florida, if it's hard to remember very well, since you just brought in your own bottle of Wild Irish Rose, on a good day in hard times.

Of course, the fact that economists don't usually use the example of welfare recipients "maximizing their utility" by taking other people's earnings and spending it at the strip club sipping Thunderbird listening to bad seventies disco to the sight of lots of giggling folds in all the wrong places is revealing as to why the Kentucky Fried Doctorate of Philosophy in Tweakonomics sometimes has more practical value than just your garden variety economics degree, if it's a much harder degree to earn, presently that being the reason there is currently only one Kentucky Fried Professor.

Now the discipline of Tweakonomics tells us that economics isn't just about economics at all, one key feature of which is that in fact people account for tastes all the time, since the originator of Tweakonomics, Aristotle,  correctly said "Man is a social animal."

One implication of being a social animal is that society has hierarchical features, in which some get to see Top Shelf strippers like Plexico Burress while sipping Gran Mariner (we'll have the Tweakonomics discussion of gun control, Plexioco-style later), while other less fortunate for all sorts of reasons folks get to cash their EBT card to buy Mad Dog 20/20 and watch not so pretty ladies do the same general thing.

We don't judge people who have more money who do that nearly as much as those who don't in practice, yet in standard economic theory, we shouldn't judge those who use government assistance that way either, except of course that economics as is usually taught lacks awareness of basic features of life, almost like the current emphasis on mathematics has created a bunch of Asperberger's cases.

Note, there's a flip side to that too, in that people make value judgments all the time about how much money people have too, even though the standard models don't account for the accounting for that taste either.

finis 

 

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
Follow the money - those not so pretty strippers got to eat, and feed kids too - been paid in wads of dollar bills more than once in my day by "working moms" in the Pines. And it is not like the drink money was going to a multi-national either. A good breeze would have blown some of these joints down. Choice is good - and that is a lot of what freedom is about - and if you aint free to wallow away a day without work or prospects in a dive spending the rent and food money then buddy you aint free at all.
I'm so very glad that you didn't set out to chastise any of our overpaid and under worked elected representatives who patronize the far more expensive gin mills on expense accounts paid for by the tax-payers' dimes.

It just isn't right or fair to criticize those who've managed to bamboozle us into thinking that they actually do something of value in return for their - taxpayer paid - salaries that are ten times more than their less favoured brethren are allotted. They are, after all, the leading members of that bunch of "hard-working" folks whose taxes - paid from taxes collected from those who actually do productive work - are being wasted on food and rent and silly socialist stuff like that.

I see no reason why such poor folks shouldn't be paid the same as their elite tax-slurper brethren. Then they too could sip fine cognac while discussing the bedroom antics of the various "entertainers" appearing on stage, and claim to be "representing" the people while doing so.

;-)
.
I think everyone needs a little loving sometimes, and a little entertainment too. :)