I call it the Ass-Wiping Paradox.
Suppose C is the cost of wiping one’s ass.
Suppose D is the likelihood of getting a disease from not wiping one’s ass and A is the cost of the disease.
Suppose O is the likelihood of social ostracism from not wiping one’s ass and B is the cost of that ostracism and F is the likelihood of getting found out.
Suppose S is the satisfaction of knowing you’re the only one who is smart enough not to wipe his own ass.
Then, only if S + C – (AD + BFO) < 0, should one wipe one’s ass.
Consider that in an industrialized society with good sanitation, C (price of asswiping) and D (likelihood of disease acquisition) are likely to be close to 0. Consider that because you live alone, spending your time converting your political biases into equations, B (cost of ostracism) is likely to be low.
These things being so, and S (satisfaction) always being positive, we must conclude that no Public Choice theorist should ever wipe his ass. And yet, based on informal surveys, as many as 3/4ths of Public Choice theorists wipe their asses a positive number of times per day. Thus, the “Ass-Wiping Paradox.”
We propose the careful avoidance of any empirical data collection as this may tend to lessen our ability to use the word “paradox” with a straight face.