Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Drive by on inequality

Quick post, which is just a repost of a response to an essay Woj linked on Facebook by Roger Koppl called "Inequality Matters."

I think he misses the point about why most people don't talk about it being terribly important, or rather both points.

1: Inequality can be due to political shenanigans, but it can also be due to differences in productivity, differences that often increase as more possibilities for increasing productivity increase. There is no reason to assume that any given unequal distribution is due to nefarious ends. There will always be inequality so long as there are differing rewards for differing degrees of work and success.

2: Most paragraphs starting with "There is too much inequality" end with "And so the government should have a program redistributing from those who make more to those who make less." When most people complain about inequality they are not thinking of the 6 families of US sugar producers who are rich because of tariffs, or even politicians who sell favors. They are complaining that some people make lots of money, regardless of why.

In other words, until people understand that inequality is not itself unjust, but injustice can exacerbate inequality, they are going to be barking up the wrong tree. In fact, in their efforts to improve equality by redistribution they are likely to make the problem worse.

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