Saturday, May 11, 2013

Why worry about income inequality?

Here's an interesting post by Don Boudreaux in which he explains the extent to which he cares about income inequality (spoiler: not very much):
Worrying about income (or wealth) differences as such has always for me smacked of childishness.  It’s envy elevated into public policy.  I’m sure that it has something to do with how I was raised, but the very thought of fretting about how much money other people make relative to what I make has always seemed to me to be grossly impolite, anti-social, pointless, corrosive of one’s character, and in horribly bad taste.  This was so for me for as long as I can remember, even when my income was very low by American standards.
It is not a surprise coming from Cafe Hayek to hear that he supports remedying inequality of opportunity rather than remedying inequality of outcomes, but the post is the most well-written defense of this position I have read in a long time.  As the excerpt above hints, his argument relies on both practical and moral tenets.  Regardless of the extent to which you agree, this post is worth a read.

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