Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Inequality Doesn't Matter

Brad DeLong doesn't think inequality matters.
Nor should we worry a great deal that some people are richer than others. Some people work harder, apply their intelligence more skillfully or simply have been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. But I don't see how alternative political-economic arrangements could make individuals' relative wealth closely correspond to their relative moral or other merit.
Unless it can be used for political gain.
the increase in inequality that we have seen in the past generation is predominantly a result of failures of social investment and changes in regulations and expectations. It has not been accompanied by any acceleration in the overall rate of economic growth. For the most part, it looks like these changes in economy and society have not resulted in more wealth, but only in an upward redistribution of wealth -- a successful right-wing class war.
In a world where the poor make less than $1 a day inequality is just bad luck. In the US where most poor own their home, have a car, a refrigerator and cable TV its a problem that must be fixed because it just isn't fair.

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