‘National Economics Looks Like a Junior High Locker Room’

by Mark Wilson

From The Economist, via Boing Boing, comes an interesting answer to a question that has vexed liberals for a long time, especially in the wake of the Tea Party’s prominence: “Why do lower middle-class and working class Americans support tax breaks for the rich?”

One possible answer appears to be that no one wants to be on the bottom, and the people closest to the bottom are the least likely to give money to people just below them: “One paradoxical consequence of this ‘last-place aversion’ is that some poor people may be vociferously opposed to the kinds of policies that would actually raise their own income a bit but that might also push those who are poorer than them into comparable or higher positions.”