Wednesday, January 15, 2014

In Defense of Inequality

This is from: In Defense of Inequality, by John Goodman, the whole posting is a must read.
During the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama was asked if he would favor of a higher capital gains tax rate, even if the government received less revenue as a result. His answer: Yes. 
When you stop to think about it, that’s a remarkable answer. By hypothesis, everyone is worse off. The owners of capital are worse off. The government is worse off. Poor people who depend on government are worse off. 
Yet Obama’s answer wasn’t remarked upon. It was generally ignored. The reason: I think most people in the mainstream media took it as aberration. Maybe even a misstatement. And that is because the mainstream media doesn’t take the president seriously when he says he is against inequality — an understandable attitude, given that the first family just finished a 17 day, $4 million vacation in Hawaii
But I have it on good authority that the president repeated that answer to the very same question in private fund raisers. So I’m willing to entertain the idea that he really means it. That implies that for Barrack Obama equality is a serious value — one that should be pursued even if it requires the destruction of wealth, less revenue for government, less welfare for the poor and compromising on other things that are also of value. Not only am I willing to take Barack Obama seriously, I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt to Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz, Robert Reich and others. ...
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