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Old 08-29-2019, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bump View Post
Never said there was; I was just saying that a person with a low income and an inexpensive house has more to lose in a practical sense than a high income person with an expensive house does. Not in absolute dollar amounts but in terms of what that house represents in terms of effort, saving, assets, etc...

And what I was trying to get at with the other stuff is that if the general refrain is that progressive taxation is good, because the tax burden is graduated according to the amount that is sustainable, you can't then go and claim that rich people draw greater benefits from things like public safety, the school system, etc...

The same logic applies as with progressive taxation- losing a cheap house is a much bigger deal to a poor person than losing an expensive one is to a rich person, for the exact same reason that $1 in taxation is proportionately more valuable to the poor person than the rich person.
Housing isn't really a good example. First, lots of poor people in cities don't own houses, but rent. Losing belongings in a fire is bad, but if it happens they do not have to deal with rebuilding.
Also, I was assuming that everyone had insurance. Probably a bad assumption, especially for renters. Also, the richer can afford full replacement insurance. So they do suffer less, but not because of utility.
If we take house value (or loss after insurance) as a percentage of wealth as a metric, I'd say equal percentages have equal amounts of pain. If the rich person can write off the loss without thinking about it, versus the poorer person, then the rich person suffers less, but that is not from utility. As I said, there will be some impact of utility, but since most of the loss is recovered, it would be small.