To those of you who responded to my request for comments on “Experiment 2,” I thank you. I was hoping for hundreds of thousands of responses, but twenty-something will do just fine. Here’s the explanation, which is really just step two of what I want to do.
I wanted to make a poll to see what people think might be the most “fair” way to distribute money throughout a population. It occurred to me that I probably wasn’t going to think of every conceivable method, and I probably wasn’t going to think of all the methods people would most commonly suggest… thus, the sniveling plea for responses.
I counted 31 suggestions, and divided them into five categories:
1. EARN (11 responses). Give the money to those who earn it, however you define earning the money. I like the idea of giving it to those with the best entrepreneurial plans (four or five folks had that idea). I liked the observation from Noutheteo (who is supposed to be on his honeymoon, congratulations) that some folks would simply realize the marginal effort wasn’t worth the marginal dollar. I counted Davout’s insane response as giving money to those who earn it because his group leaders have to convince him to give them the money. That’ll take some doing.
2. EVEN (8 responses). Give one dollar to each person. Simple enough. I counted the responses from “jimmy rustles” and Blonde as EVEN, even though they gave permission to the recipients to distribute their dollars based on need. I counted Root’s third suggestion (burn the money) as EVEN because $0 to everybody is, technically, even.
3. KEEP (7 responses). The person controlling the money keeps all the money. I didn’t get six responses that actually said that—there were only three—but Doc twice suggested giving the money to his kids, which actually means giving the money to him, which actually actually means giving the money to Mrs. Hmnhmna, and “that guy” essentially said I should keep the money.
4. NEED (3 responses). Give the money to those who need it, however you define needing the money.
5. RANDOM (2 responses). Randomly distribute the money via lottery.
Perhaps these categories are overbroad, but that’s what I’m going to work with.
In the top right corner of this blog is the first ever poll on this august journal, and I’d appreciate your participation. The poll will be open through 11:59 PM on March 21st, and then I’ll comment on the distribution fairness thing. Please don’t vote more than once. Thank you for your participation and support.