Day 164: is it fair?

I’m been pounding about what’s fair lately, especially because the girls remind me everyday as one of them complains to the other: IT IS NOT FAIR!

Is it fair that you don’t work but still asked to be paid? Our driver hasn’t been working since the start of the pandemic as we are all staying home. Yet, we’ve been paying him full salary for the last 5 months, and probably will do so in the next 5.

I am an economist by training and from the very start, I’m all about efficiency but not so much on equity. My focus was how to make the pie bigger, and hope that someone else will focus on how to divide the pie.

Over the last few years that I’ve been working in developing countries, I got to realise that some policies that are conducive to grow the pie are detrimental to equity. So, is it fair to choose policies that would increase equity (such as social transfers) at the expense of the overall growth of the economy? Is it fair that I’m killing myself at work to progress when I know that 1/2 of my pay will go to some poor families? It doesn’t sound fair. BUT

back to our driver. He’s not working, in fairness i don’t need to pay him. But is he not working because of his decision? No. It’s because of the pandemic. Is it because he didn’t choose the right profession when he was younger? a profession that would allow him to work despite the pandemic? That’s a tricky question. I am sure in many instances of life, he has made decision that might not have been in his best interest in the long run, but the margin of error of his choices in determining his current condition is limited. He didn’t have the initial condition that allowed him to make many choices. That’s what we call “equal opportunity of access”, or lack of privilege. Is it fair then to judge his current condition to his own choices in life? The answer is less clear.

I am not sure why I am bringing these rather nerdy thoughts to the blog, just wanted to share my economic thoughts lately. If I had time, I’d love to go back to do some research on these.

Okay. back to our day. Sofia now has only 45 min lunch break between 12 and 12:45pm, so I’ve been diligently preparing lunch earlier and have it ready by 11:50 so it’s not to hot for her when she’s ready. Yesterday’s lunch was: chinese scallion noodles, sautéed green beans, a boiled egg, and sautéed cauliflower with carrot.

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New books: currently reading Educated, and 3 non-fiction books awaiting me. I’ve listened The Conscious Parent already but there are so many important things that I want to revisit so I order the hard copy too.

Gratitude: I am grateful for getting older (not the wrinkles part) and having more life experiences. They shape my mind and understand the world better, and hopefully pass them to my girls. My parents were too busy making a living that didn’t really have time to think beyond that. They taught me work ethics, family values, but not so much on world views.

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