Healthcare

I think I deserve a Nobel prize

Standard economic theory assumes people act rationally: Workers, left to their own devices, should save and invest properly to meet their long-term goals.

But Thaler and other adherents of behavioral economics pointed out that workers saving for retirement can be their own worst enemies. Without help, Thaler argued, they’ll never retire. “. Except from Bloomberg.com

Is there even one person on the planet who believes human beings act rationally in economic or other matters?

oh yeah, some economists apparently.

Workers left to their own devices should do a lot of things they don’t do. They should make better choices about health care benefits and they don’t do that either. I spent most of my life trying to get workers to make rational decisions, hell just to pay attention so they could make rational decisions.  Forget it.

That inability to exercise rational decision-making more than any other factor is why individuals end up in economic trouble. And in my view it’s mostly just being lazy in thought and action.

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5 replies »

  1. “They should make better choices about health care benefits and they don’t do that either. I spent most of my life trying to get workers to make rational decisions…..” I did read what you wrote/ paid attention and when you retired found this blog. AND to think you and other HR types spent time convincing me that watering down health benefits, raising my costs, and messing with pensions (5 to 7 year) were a good thing. Fortunately, this company and my previous employer offered 401k and I contributed heavily. Now IF our employer would fund its obligations to 100% based on current and recent past realities, not averaged out over 25 years (I wonder if I could get TD Bank to give me rates based on ‘historic’ rates (maybe throw in a toaster also))

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    • Some of the things that happened in the last several years should never have happened and were unnecessary. But under-informed people listened to questionable advice they were unable to correctly evaluate plus there was an overreaction to the Great Recession as if it was going to be a permanent state.

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  2. I also paid attention to you for the last 32 years and I got to retire at age 55. I’ll admit that it took me 18 months in the beginning of my career to understand what a 401k was, but when I did, I jumped on board. I know co-workers that I could not convince that they were leaving money on the table.

    I would also like to add the not only do most people fail to make rational informed decisions, some fail to make any decisions. Sometimes no choice or decisions is worst than a wrong decisions. With a bad decision, if you recognize it, you’ll know what you did and may have time and a chance to correct it. No decision means you do not even recognize that the train has left the station.

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  3. I paid attention for 30 of your nearly 50 years until you retired. Happily retired now after 37 years with a good pension and healthy 401K. I know you have a sore spot about tattoo’s but not all tattooed people are irresponsible and unable to make rational decisions. Pay yourself first, then prioritize your families needs and whatever is left over save for that unexpected expense, an expensive vacation, a new firearm or yes maybe even a new tattoo. Live has so many choices, that’s what makes everyone different.

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