the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

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Benefits II

An old accounting lecturer of mine used to say that reality was just 'there' and unchangeable. All an accountant did was shine light on it from different angles (the angles being carefully chosen, of course).

So it is with politics. This BBC article makes a good point about the benefits debate. On the one hand there is the perception of unfairness that some live so comfortably at the expense of others. On the other, the argument that free-loaders are a minority. Both of these views could be based on the same reality, just different angles.

My thoughts:

  • accept that there is unfairness in the benefits system. Then how much unfairness is tolerable? Presumably the trade-off is that it serves a greater good? How do you define and measure the greater good? If you can't do that, how can you decide how much unfairness is a worthwhile price?

  • accept that there is a minimum level of assistance that should be given to those in need. Just because a system is in place does not mean that system actually works, or works best.

  • how come so many people seem to grok incentives when it comes to bankers' bonuses, but get all indignant and dismissive when people point out the perverse incentives inherent in the benefits system?

Enough of the benefits and politics. Enough of parts I & II blog posts.

{2010.10.08 - 17:10}

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