Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Tough Love -
Another Thing to Do With Those Gifts

Houston Dad Puts 3 Sons' Presents On EBay

From the Washington Post (registration required):

...their father told them [ages 9, 11, and 15] Santa was not pleased with their fighting, cuss words and obscene gestures....

"These are normally really good kids," said Dad...
Dad even admitted that he and Mom were partly to blame for being too lax at times.

But enough was enough. The warning of an impending sale came earlier in the week at a sit-down between offspring and parents.

"We told them they were destroying each other and the
calm and peace in the household. It had to stop," said the man... The boys pledged to be nice but were back to their old ways the next morning.

That night, Dad announced that he would indeed be putting $700 in video console and games up for sale on eBay. The oldest boy double-dared his dad to make good on his word.

Son should not have done that.

Dad said Mom has been in tears since the showdown.
"I don't do it outwardly," he said, "but I'm crying on the inside."

Not a bad decision, given the situation.
I wonder how many times parents make threats they don't intend to carry out, leading them to situations like this.

Will these people figure out what the incentives are and respond to them? Are they rational maximizers?
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