by Walter E. Williams
What economists call an ability to make “compensating differences” is a valuable tool in everyone’s arsenal. If people are prohibited from doing so, they are always worse off. You say, “Williams, I never heard of compensating differences. What are they?”
Jimmy Soul’s 1963 hit song, “If You Wanna Be Happy,” explained the concept of compensating differences. His lyrics went: “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife. So from my personal point of view, get an ugly girl to marry you.” His point was that an ugly woman would treat you better. But more importantly, a less attractive woman’s willingness to compensate for her differences enables her to effectively compete with a pretty woman.