Thoughts on Equality

A Facebook friend recently posted something sympathetic with Occupy Wall Street and related concerns about inequality. I commented that inequality seems to me utterly irrelevant. If a wealthy person becomes even more wealthy at my expense, I have reason to be upset. If that person thrives without disadvantaging me, however, I see no reason to complain. In fact, it seems to me I should prefer … Continue reading Thoughts on Equality

Kling on Inequality

Arnold Kling reflects on the fact that the Clintons made $109 million over the past seven years. (Maybe John Edwards is on to something with that “Two Americas” thing.) What’s remarkable is not the amount of private wealth, however, but the amount of wealth and power that government officials control: Montgomery County, Maryland, has an annual budget of $3.8 billion. This sum is under the … Continue reading Kling on Inequality

Schools of Social Work

The National Association of Scholars has published a report on schools of social work throughout the country, finding that most are committed to ideological indoctrination rather than unbiased research: “Social work education is a national academic scandal.” Stephen Balch, NAS Director: Defenders of the American university claim that the seriousness of the problem of political correctness has been greatly exaggerated by critics. There is, however, … Continue reading Schools of Social Work

An Educational Aristocracy?

I couldn’t help but be struck by the oddity of Megan McArdle‘s chief worry about inequality: But in America, money buys access to things, particularly education, but also opportunities like unpaid internships, that make it easier to get a high-paying job. This may be more worrisome than big wealth concentrations. Wealth is eroded over time, either by lazy heirs or the sheer multiplication of descendants; … Continue reading An Educational Aristocracy?

Arkes on Brown v. Board of Education

I recently attended a talk by Hadley Arkes on jurisprudence in which, among other things, he criticized the reasoning of the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark school desegregation case from 1954. The Court declared the unconstitutionality of segregation on the basis of Kenneth Clark’s social science research on the self-esteem of black children, contending on that basis that “separate but … Continue reading Arkes on Brown v. Board of Education

The Rich Really are Different…

They have more money. But they don’t really have all that much more stuff: Looking at a far more direct measure of American families’ economic status — household consumption — indicates that the gap between rich and poor is far less than most assume, and that the abstract, income-based way in which we measure the so-called poverty rate no longer applies to our society. … … Continue reading The Rich Really are Different…

Why Republicans are Happier

The Washington Post reports: Most studies show that wealthy people are marginally happier than poor ones. People with pets or children are no happier than those without. People with active sex lives are — surprise! — happier than those without. No single morsel of happiness data, though, is more intriguing than this: Republicans are happier than Democrats. A 2006 Pew Research poll found that 45 … Continue reading Why Republicans are Happier

Should men pay higher taxes than women?

Spain’s Popular Party has proposed that women receive tax breaks for… being women! Since parties to its left are likely to pile on board, Spain will soon have a tax system that discriminates on the basis of gender. There’s a radical feminist argument for this, but there’s also a utilitarian argument based on the Ramsey taxation principle: If the demand or supply of something is … Continue reading Should men pay higher taxes than women?