Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Expensive Tastes and Utility Monsters

Recently I’ve been going back over some Rawls, and in the course of doing so I came upon Rawls’ views on people with expensive tastes–those whose happiness requires unusually expensive goods. Rawls thinks that people are ultimately responsible for their tastes, having at some point in their lives freely chosen to cultivate them. I don’t think this is true. Here’s why.

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Thank a Local Immigrant for Your Public Services

Regular readers may recall that I wrote about Japan’s poor birth rate earlier in the week. I engaged in a conversation with a friend of mine about the subject (here’s his view on Japan) during which I observed that Germany’s birth rate is actually slightly worse than Japan’s, yet there’s we’re all writing about Japanese birth rates rather than the German ones. I wondered why that is, and he pointed to the immigration figures–Germany gets many more move-ins than Japan does, so the birth rate crisis in Germany has not translated into a population crisis on the same scale. This has made me want to investigate to what extent the EU and US have mitigated the effects of a birth rate slowdown with immigrants, so that’s what I’m on about today.

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