Weird Studies – Why Do We Waste Money On Stuff Like This?

Taller People Earn More Money. Your Brain Thinks Money Is A Drug. Pretty people make more money; ugly men make the least. Seriously – these are findings of studies about money, not headlines from The Onion. A friend of mine sent out a link to this article on Twitter yesterday, so I knew I had to take a look. With all the real problems in the world, and all the legitimate things that money could be spent on, why are we wasting a single dime paying for a study about ugly people making money? I understand that some of this money comes from private donors or organizations and not taxpayers, but wouldn’t we all be better off if instead they gave that money towards helping to feed a few hungry kids or send a poor teenager to college? Or help a library stay open? Or keep state parks around for another year?

I mean, my life is better for knowing that “attractive people earn more than average looking people in the workplace. Unfortunately, workers who are not at all attractive, earn even less. And ugly men are affected more than ugly women. Men who are uglier than average tend to make nine percent less, while below average looking women make only five percent less.” Isn’t yours?


What do you guys think about these kinds of things? Wasteful? Useful? I would imagine that if all stupid studies were halted today, we could do a lot of good with that money. I mean, we are all going to disagree on what the true definition of “wasting money” is in regards to our spending on social/societal issues. I get that, and that can make for healthy debate. But stuff like this seems like it would be wasteful to just about everyone – from the most conservative fiscal hawk all the way to the most liberal free-spender!

Photo from Shutterstock

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Comments (6)

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  1. Kyle C. says:

    I guess my take on it would depend on how the studies were funded. The government, especially now, shouldn’t be funding this kind of worthless crap. I am not gaining anything from knowing the results of these studies so my tax dollars shouldn’t be invested in them.

    If a private company wants to blow their wad on something like this then that is their problem. I probably won’t be investing in those companies any time soon.

  2. ctreit says:

    If these studies do not have any consequences, I think they are kind of useless. Then again maybe it takes a while for these studies to have an effect which makes it more difficult to measure whether this is a waste of money or not. One thing is for sure though. It is very easy to ignore or forget the various ways humans discriminate against each other if one is not a victim of such discrimination. And if you are not a victim, it also makes sense to call such studies a waste of money.

  3. More of our tax dollars at waste!

    The government should be required to read and keep up with at least some of the many PF blogs out there–they might be able to learn something.

  4. Edwin says:

    While I agree with you with these specific ones, I fear this sentiment often extends into other basic research people think is pointless.

    Lots of scientific research seems pointless and is only done by governments because there is no direct profit from it for corporations. This type of research is extremely important and leads to more productive / profitable innovations later on.

  5. Len Penzo says:

    Heck ya those studies are useful! Are you kidding?

    I had no idea attractive people earn more money in the workplace.

    I know I for one will be taking a copy of that particular study to my boss first thing tomorrow morning and demand a raise, as I am obviously underpaid compared to my peers.

    Wait a minute. On second thought…

    I’m so confused.

  6. […] that attractive people make more money in the workplace than ugly ones and wonders if that money wouldn’t be better spent on other endeavors.  Of course, my response to David was, “Heck ya those studies are useful! […]