Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It isn't all talent and effort

The Economics of Teeth and Other Beauty Premiums - The New York Times

One quibble: Dubner observes, "[T]eeth (unlike height or looks in general) are something that can be fixed." Certainly--if you have the means to do so. But if you are someone who is barely getting by, with too much month at the end of the money, fixing your teeth--like repairing your car, filling the gas tank, finding affordable child care, buying suitable work clothes, or meeting the plethora of other expenses that employment imposes--are barriers that can't be flattened with the simple flick of a credit card. They are among the many ways that need keeps a tight grip on those it seizes. Dubner's comment, conversely, is the kind of generality that could only be assumed from the perspective of privilege.

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