segunda-feira, 14 de fevereiro de 2005

Poupar / Consumir versus Heterossexuais / Homo

"(...) let me move on to the substance of Professor Hoppe's claim that homosexuals tend to "plan," i.e., save, less than heterosexuals.

This seems to me to be: (1) not merely highly likely as a theoretical matter but implied by rather straightforward economic theory; (2) supported by empirical evidence; (3) not in the least invidious; and (4) a very useful teaching illustration.

The point I believe that Professor Hoppe was trying to make is that our tendency to save rather than consume is a function of the particular circumstances of our lives. Specifically, to the extent that we have affective relationships with others and are concerned with their financial well being, especially if they are financially dependent on us, we will be inclined to save more than were these conditions not to prevail.

Thus because homosexuals tend not to bear and rear children they will tend to feel less of a need to save and insure their lives. The distinction between homosexuals and heterosexuals is but one of many that I (and I suspect Professor Hoppe) would pile on to capture the point of the relationship between our economic lives and our social, cultural, religious, sexual, and other differences.

There are a fascinating variety of ways in which this relationship presents itself. For example, I am inclined to tell my students that in those cultures where chastity and marital fidelity are more present, more saving will occur because paternity is more certain.

The various points being made by the examples are powerful and important: (1) it shows the relationship between the ordinary psychological, social, religious, and cultural aspects of life and their economic consequences; (2) it shows that the savings rate, something that is normally thought of as a function of narrow government "economic" policy, e.g., monetary policy is driven by more fundamental human drives, and that differences across communities in the savings rate is effected more by differences in their "non-economic" ways of life than other things."

"The Hoppe Affair", by Lloyd Cohen

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