Agents for actors, musicians, and artists get 10-20% of their payments in order to advise, promote and negotiate on their behalf. Sports agents get 4-10%, while speaker agents get 20-30%. Headhunters get 18-25% of first year salary. The idea is simple: when someone gets a big fraction of your income, they have an
I would have thought that public education ---educating non workers at the expense of workers --is doing something about it.
You're not understanding the proposal. The government makes basically the same amount of money, they just make it up front, and it keeps doing basically what it's doing.
The point is that the government is in a position where they have an incentive to act as your career agent, but aren't really structured in a way to do anything about it. If you could transfer that incentive without transferring any money, you could put it in the hands of people in a position to do something about the fact they have this benevolent incentive to help other people earn more.
I would expect that the level of affection here is going to be related to the time spent in personal contact, and so depends on whether it's efficient to have a single person who spend extended periods with their charge.
In some cases of career agents this would be the case but I suspect that agents in the world of sport and the arts are unrepresentative since they are industries with long tailed and potentially very high salaries where the return on coaching and advice is therefore greatest.
The relationship seems closer to that between a person and a provider of a very generous life-insurance policy, so that if a person is incentivized to maximize your earnings, it is likely to be in a more bureaucratic capacity.
Is government supposed to be my "career agent"? My sense is that's just not something people expect the government to do.
Government is instead supposed to give us a safety net and prevent people from harming others.
So, while I'd prefer your idea over the status quo, it's not really a question of a simple transfer of responsibility ... is more like proposing "hey, what if the government spent the money it controls on a totally different thing from what it does today?"
"biological" is too narrow (adoptive parents) --I should have said "kinship tie"
Might. Could be studied empirically by looking at cases where stake is high but there's no biological tie as source of affection, and seeing how often that goes wrong. Anecdotally it seems to me they often do.
I don't see this prior correlation between stake and affection as accidental, and if not, we have reason to think lots of affection might go with big stake.
Amount of affection needed is proportional to size of incentive to push into person's life. So parents have very large incentive, but also very large amounts of affection. Coaches etc. have smaller incentives and so need less affection. When those incentives become large eg coaches of young Olympic gymnasts, influence is often pernicious bc requisite amount of affection cannot be mustered up. Career agent scenario would, in a similar vein, require unrealistically large amounts of affection.
Why couldn't career agents have a tie of affection too?
"parents, teachers, priests, and sport coaches": in those cases there are ties of affection, that makes a significant difference I think."for actor/musician agents their influence is positive overall"--perhaps less obvious in cases where the person w/ the agent is < 20 and agent has incentive to try to influence person independently of their parents...?
They do far less to help you (probably because they own this right for everyone, so many of the things agents do to promote their clients would be zero sum for the government - whoever gets the job, the government gets paid), but it's not clear they do far less to control you. For example, a private agent can't mandate people to go to school and take a certain curriculum for a set number of years; the government can, and does.
Today parents, teachers, priests, and sport coaches have incentives to "run our lives", at least to some degree. Would we really be better of if they had no interest whatsoever in pushing us in some directions? I agree there are bad cases, but even for actor/musician agents their influence is positive overall is it not?
I agree with Robin that govt actors "do far far less than would a private agent paid that big a fraction of your income"
The incentive to interfere with our autonomy already exists. This would just transfer it from its current holder (the government) to private actors. Given that the government has vastly more power to actually interfere with our autonomy than private actors do, this seems like a good trade.
I wonder if we're talking about different governments. The one I pay taxes to has no coherent plans, leading to natural secrecy. And it has a general distrust of private enterprise and jealously guards it's right to change tax policy in the future.
If we create institutions with massive financial incentives to interfere in our autonomy, I think they would find ways of doing so.Might be good to start w/studying actual agents empirically: how often does it happen that (esp young) people who are not aggressive and competent about running their own lives end up "getting run" by their agents? (pop stars etc)