February 2nd, 2010

breaking bad

Political salad

I just did a test on that political ethics site I was talking about, on positional vs absolute goods. Positional goods are benefits you have relative to other people (like being healthier than them) and absolute goods are benefits you have regardless of what other people have (like being healthy).

My results are here. Basically I could give a monkey's about relative benefits, I want absolute benefits for meee. This makes me 'extreme liberal' (?) I don't understand how anyone prefers positional benefits over absolute. For example - 'Would you like two weeks holiday in a world where most people get one week, or four weeks holiday in a world where most people get eight weeks'. That seems like a no-brainer to me. I get twice as much holiday, and I get to feel virtuous and hard working. What's not to like?

Incidentally, I heard a joke on the radio yesterday.

'People ask for healthy food, and then they don't eat it. At any barbecue there's always a load of raw cabbage and carrot left over.'
'Is that Murphy's Law?'
'No, coleslaw'