October 25, 2007

Groceries, Breasts, then an Abortion

Three posts about three related issuse; Breast size, groceries, and abortion. They may not seem that similar on the surface but really they all boil down to the same problem, who has the information to make an informed decision.

First comes Chris Dillow morning the imminent diminishment of Kerry Katona's breasts. This he argues is a case where a woman's self ownership over her body appears to be reducing utility. I would argue differently, it might appear that by reducing the ability of people to ogle her fine appendages you would be reducing the happiness felt (for possibly minutes at a time) by many men around the country. However this does not take any problems that they cause for her into account. The utility of ogling can, and is, easily aggregated by the markets in a way that Ms Katona can easily find out just by looking at how much she is paid compared to the less well endowed in her chosen professions. Those ogling however cannot find out about all the little problems that they cause for her. So in this case the only person in a position to have all the information to choose whether to keep her breasts the size they are or not is Ms Katona.

Next is Tim Worstall pointing to a Commie bastard professor that thinks we are all to stupid to decide what we want to eat from ourselves. He should not worry about the limited cognative abilities of us mere mortals compared to bureaucrats academics like himself though. Thanks to free markets workers wages, profit margins, transportation, packaging, raw materials costs and other resources are already compressed down to one single easily compared number. The price. Differences in price means that there will be differences in these various factors as each manufacture tries to differentiate his product from his rivals, differences that they will shout and scream about through the products branding. All that is left is is to decide which aspects you want to emphasize. Do you want a product that used the absolute minimum resources, or perhaps something else on top? If so which something else? Your sandals fair trade perhaps? Your brusectta organic? Which add on is best for which customer however is something that only the customer in question will know.

Then comes the much more serious question of abortion. This might not seem like something that can be compared to something frivolous like breast reduction, but really they are the same thing. Who has the best information with which to make a decision. I am personally firmly pro-choice, the reason for this is simple and very similar to Ms Robinson when she says
that to speak about abortion in generalised statistical terms, to even attempt to do so, is frankly missing the point. And the main point is that abortion is not the government's decision to make.
Short of a medical miracle I will never know what it is like to have a fetus growing inside me. I can never know what that feels like, I do not even have any idea what the psychological, physical and financial pressures would be like and since everybody is different, every pregnancy is different and in constantly changing circumstances the only person that truly does know what that situation is like is the person in it. Tell them about all the options, including adoption, but in the end it has to be the woman's choice so all the choices must be open too her. I would personally hope that abortion were a rarely taken choice, but it is still the woman's choice alone to take.

Most hard problems come down to weighing various choices and to do that you have to have a clear understanding of the repercussions that these choices will have which means you need to know the individual circumstances that the choice is being made in. Even in our panopticon state the only person that truly knows this is the person making the choice, so it should be made by them not some distant and disinterested lawmaker.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your idea that Kerry should charge for looking at her breasts is fine in theory, but it fails in practice. The problem is that her breasts have public good-type properties - people can look at them without paying. This means men will not pay, hoping to free-ride on others' willingness to pay her to forego the op. The upshot is that the sum raised will under-estimate the public's willingness to see her breasts.

8:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was assuming that her physical assets where a part of the calculation for her pay during her career in the entertainment business. The nature of the business would mass produce ogle-time for her fans worldwide, to a degree that would dwarf any ogling possibilities offered by casual encounters.

However I now realise that these are not the only factors in play, and you are correct that there is a free rider problem. Particually form the paparazzi mass producing breatage without her being remunerated for it. This being the case shouldn't it be a more efficient approach to try and remove the free riders (via a privacy law) thereby bring access to these considerable assets within a market framework, rather than attempting a top down approach of government control?

10:00 am  
Blogger Ms Robinson said...

I believe that breastage is not dissimilar to my post regarding my theory of fat flotation (Pigs Fly but Pork Floats) whereby if Kerry reduces her breasts, it means another bright,young woman is augmented that amount of breastage. Governments have no control over such things since they do not understand physics and those who wish to ogle still get said breastage but on somebody else.

6:56 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home