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Does an unequal trade off necessarily mean there is a "loser" and a "winner"?

You can talk about this question in a variety of fields. In almost any inequality (of which there are a bunch) you can address this question to. I'd expect there wouldn't be one answer that fits all inequalities, but we'll just see where this discussion goes. Some related questions in case the phrasing or definitions of a loser and a winner (which you can certainly address in your comment) were a problem would be, "Is a win-win situation possible when there is trade of unequal items (items here being a very loose term)?" or possibly "If a person benefits more than another in some interaction, can that situation be considered a win-win?"*

Please ask any clarification questions and feel free to go to any field/inequality you can use this question to talk about.

*Sorry about still using the words "win-win", as if they are more well defined than winners and losers. If any of you guys can think of a better term I will change the wording as soon as I can.

Thank you!


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  • Sep 28 2013: Winning and losing are not absolutes but are based upon the subjective perceptions both by those involved in the transaction and by those observing the transactions. i.e. Jack and the Beanstalk. The perception of winning and losing is also time sensitive; i.e. short term loss for a long term win. If you lose money gambling but have fun doing it, is that a win or a loss?

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