"Poor people are different to rich people, and not only in the amount of money
they’ve got. They are also different in something that flows from it.
It’s (lack of) ease. And the consequences can be severe.
Economist Sendhil Mullainathan and psychologist Eldar Shafir outline them in
their book Scarcity: Why Having So Little Means So Much
"The researchers have replicated the results time and time again. Even when
they pay for correct answers (which might be expected to incentivise low
earners more than high earners) low earners can’t concentrate enough to do well
, but only when “tickled” — when reminded of how precarious their existence is.
The authors’ conclusion is that it is incumbent on authorities not to send such
people over the edge — not to make them fill in multi-page forms or reapply for
assistance or attend recurring pointless meetings, and not to send them
unexplained unpayable bills out of the blue — not to do anything that will
remind them of how their finances don’t really allow them to cope.
When that happens, when what Mullainathan and Shafir call mental bandwidth is
flooded, its hard to think properly about things such as caring for children
and getting work."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics