Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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More Parents Thinking Kids are Spoiled

Last month I wrote about an article outlining why old people think young people are spoiled. Well, the author has written a followup, this time outlining two more factors: Social mobility and increasing resource inequality. It’s another great and simple explanation of some economics/sociology stuff.

The best part, though, might be in the footnotes where the author wonders aloud about something that has been bugging me lately:

Why is it that everyone is so dead-set on having their children exceed them? From a logical standpoint, doesn’t it seem hard to understand how everyone’s children are going to advance forward? Especially when there are an exponentially increasing number of children on the planet; and at the same time technology is exponentially decreasing the need for human intervention in the production of our goods and services? As we go each day into the future we have more people to do work, while at the same time we have less work to do. How are we all going to find our kids well-rewarded jobs, when we just don’t need as many people working?

I hadn’t thought of it in exactly these terms, but I’ve been wondering about why so many people think they’re going to beat the odds. I mean I get why people think that way, but it’s still sort of mysterious that everyone believes it. If everyone was beating the odds the odds would change.

August 27, 2009