It is said that inequality is not inevitable.
As told in the book, another advantage of relegating some of the status competition into non-market domains comes from multiplicity, which delivers a kind of the Lake Wobegon effect where individuals can compete for status in various non-market domains. Lake Wobegon effect is any indication, we’re all suffering from an illusory superiority complex. What we perceive and how we think of our lives is in some way constructed and influenced by our neurological hardwiring and our subconscious biases.
As mentioned in “The Lake Wobegon Effect: Are All Cancer Patients above Average?” the Lake Wobegon effect suggests the treatment advice imparted to them by their oncologists. In framing treatment plans, cancer specialists tend to intimate that elderly patients are like the children living in Garrison Keillor’s mythical Lake Wobegon.
Now given this, the story of the mother’s death from lung cancer is used to investigate the consequences of elderly people’s inability to reconcile the grave reality of their illness with the overly optimistic predictions of their physicians. Finally, the automatic optimism conveyed to elderly, dying patients by cancer specialists prompts those patients to choose treatment that is ineffective and debilitating.
With this, we can see that in a way, it derives their sense of relative worth from those domains in which they perform best.
Along, with what is said in the book, physicians can better help elderly, terminally ill patients make medical decisions that are less damaging to them and less costly to the health care system, as to by contrast, everyone cannot be the winner in the market domain, for the ranking of wealths is unambiguous.