Found 4 comments on HN
melvinmt · 2014-12-12 · Original thread
It's a common misconception that the inability of poor people to learn/grow is related to motivation or "laziness", you should read this book: http://www.amazon.com/Scarcity-having-little-means-much-eboo...
ChuckMcM · 2014-09-03 · Original thread
Technically true, there is an interesting book you might want to read titled, "Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much" (http://www.amazon.com/Scarcity-Having-Little-Means-Much/dp/0...). Its central theme is that scarcity changes the value calculus of our decision making process, and it isn't just about money, it can be making poor choices when you don't think you have enough time for example.

In order to choose not to speed, once speeding is inevitable because of a lack of time, the woman in the article has to accept the consequence of being late (forced) or the consequence of getting a ticket (probabilistic), and she (and most people) choose the risk choice rather than the 'forced' choice. The correct answer is to wind that transaction back to what she was doing before she was late, and finding the places where she ended up with not enough time, and those are then filled with a series of what appear to be inconsequential choices with respect to time vs time availability.

I found it a fascinating read, and it gave me quite a different perspective on problems like these where the 'obvious' answer seems to be "if it hurts, then stop doing that."

wpietri · 2014-07-26 · Original thread
> Being poor does not make it very difficult to think long term

Citation needed. There's a fair bit of evidence otherwise. E.g.: http://www.amazon.com/Scarcity-having-little-means-much-eboo...

ChuckMcM · 2013-10-04 · Original thread
I've been reading this: http://www.amazon.com/Scarcity-Having-Little-Means-Much/dp/0...

Which has some excellent insights into this sort of behavior. Basically if you don't have enough money you are willing to borrow against a future payout for an extortionate rate (say 5% if you pay it back in a month which is an annualized rate of 60% interest). But what it really means it that the 5% you paid to get early access to money is a huge chunk of your future income. Lets say you make $1000/month and you're always behind so you're always getting a payday loan with a 5% rate which you pay back when you get paid. Over 12 months you've paid 12 * $50 or $600 for that privileged which is nearly an entire month's pay. Great for the lender, sucks for you.

Not surprisingly the principle is pretty general. I found when reading it that I could exchange "time" for "money" (which is to say making poor time choices when I felt time was scarce which would only cause me to have even less time in the future)

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