Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Language of Incentive

The "incentive" to leave is fleeing death, criminality, and the cruel indifference of government.  The "disincentive" is the cruel indifference of government on the other end, with less death and almost no criminality?

Is that how this works?  Honest to God, who thinks this way?


  1. The depths of indifference to suffering or, rather the heights of love of cruelty among the wealthy isn't that surprising. Nor is it among large numbers of other people. We were deceived by the relatively short period in the post-war period when some people learned from the horrors of WWII, that period is ending with the deaths of that generation. And with the de-Christianization of the United States and Europe.

  2. It's the language of economics. People, to economists, are driven by incentives. So disincentive should work, but we are dealing with humans in need, not business planning. And this need doesn't respond to consumerism or providing consumer goods. Besides, the idea is people don't commit crimes because police will arrest them (disincentive). But during Katrina civil order didn't break down in New Orleans, it broke down on the bridge where police refused to let people leave the city. We have notions of incentive and disincentive that simply don't match reality.

    And that's a very, very poor basis for public policy; which is the problem at the governmental level.