Re: Two over Par
Bob! How could you, Mr. Evolutionary Psychologist, let Mickey make the correct diagnosis of the relative psychological impacts of mean-testing Social Security versus raising Social Security taxes? Are you really unaware that that latest research clearly shows that people react much more negatively to a potential loss than they react positively to a potential gain?
Surely you've read Steven Pinker's "The Stuff of Thought", in which he cites research demonstrating that gamblers value the chance to avoid losing $100 more highly than the chance to make $100, and that the negative effect on doctors of learning that a treatment regiment will result in the death of 2/3 of their patients is greater than the positive effect of learning that it will result in the survival of 1/3 of their patients?
Now also factor in the established fact that people are much more influenced by short-term effects than long-term ones, and you are led to the inescapable conclusion:
Means-testing, causing the removal of a potential gain (future Social Security benefits), would certainly cause much less perceived pain to wealthier Americans than an additional Social Security tax for people earning over $250,000, as this would entail the imposition of an immediate loss.
I'm starting to worry that you're spending way too much time on politics and not enough on evolutionary psyschology. I'd be first in line to buy another book from you like "The Moral Animal" or "Nonzero".