[EM] Auctions

Peter Barath peb at freemail.hu
Thu Dec 4 11:47:54 PST 2008

>> The simple, humble Clarke tax method does seem a bituh unfair to
>> me. There are various ways to remedy this problem like having it
>> be based on the log of your income or making it based on how much
>> income you have left as a means of judging how much you have
>> contributed. There is a near endless number of ways to tweak this
>> in order to amount to something useful.

Do you think that if we vote simply with money, the rich have
more power than the poor? Yes, it is true. And exactly that is
the situation right now, too.

> The big issue is that according to economic theory, nobody would
> vote. If someone is in a polling booth, they have already ignored
> economic theory and thus there is no way they are going to care
> about a tiny probability of paying.

I feel here some mixing up economicness and selfishness. Yes, when
I go to vote, I have so little probability to save myself from
being killed by Nazis that even this big stake maybe doesn't make
my voting economic. But I also save many others while hoping that they
also save me.

In other words, I can be altruistic, so consider for some extent
other peoples' interests as my interest. And I can even express my
interests (including altrusitic ones) by money units, and bear fully
economically rational decisions about paying probabilities and other

(Altruism is not a very frequent behaviour among humans. But: if a
person rationally can expect others to return her altruism, the
behaviour becomes much more likely. And I go to vote with the
strong belief that others do it too.)

Peter Barath

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