Saturday, June 11, 2005

If The Rich Get Richer, Should We Care?

If The Rich Get Richer, Should We Care?

Coyote Blog has a well-crafted post discussing the issue of how many publications seem to think that the rich getting richer is a bad thing.

I won't bother restating his arguments here. What I will say is that any of his arguments nonwithstanding, income equality is a bad thing. People are jealous of the rich. But the answer is not to tear down and tax the rich, it is to give people better opportunities to create value on their own.

Today, it takes less capital than ever to create businesses and value. Ideas reign supreme. That is why education is now the most important issue facing us.

To me, it doesn't make sense to decry income inequality, then refuse to subject a hideously inefficient educational system to market forces and accountability. On the other hand, it also doesn't make sense to claim that we shouldn't do anything for the poor (only 3% of students at top colleges come from the lowest income quartile) when they have clearly been jobbed by the system (which is a combination of free markets and regulation--both wise and unwise).

Don't worry about the rich getting richer. Let them continue to create wealth. (Except for Paris Hilton, whom CB memorably dubs the "super-tramp.") Worry about giving the poor an opportunity to become rich.

3 comments:

Ben Casnocha said...

I disagree but will offer my thoughts when i get home....I will say that I quickly looked at the first couple 'grafs of the Coyote Blog and I would reccomend being very wary of anyone who attacks a Times article with the same old right wing bullshit of "editorial masked as news." People who say that don't have a clue how the paper works.

Chris said...

All papers work the same way: There are advertisements, and then there are holes between the advertisements. The stuff that goes in those holes is called "content."

The Times is biased. Coyote Blog is biased. Everyone is biased. There is no such thing as objectivity outside of science and engineering (and even there, subjectivity is more prevalent than you think).

Most journalists have a certain education and background, which carries with it certain biases (including a desire to stick up for the little guy), which are different from the biases created by a Harvard MBA (including a desire to minimize interference with the workings of free markets, unless there are externalities that need to be accounted for).

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