Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Equality not needed for happiness

James Taranto forwarded an article by Arthur C. Brooks of Syracuse University's Maxwell School. Professor Brooks makes several good arguments against the left's misguided obsession with income equality. In his research, Professor Brooks has found that inequality does not make poor people miserable and that:

"...the evidence reveals that it is not economic inequality that frustrates Americans. Rather, it is a perceived lack of opportunity. To focus our policies on inequality, instead of opportunity, is to make a serious error..."

Professor Brooks notes that some left wing academics hold that the wealthy should be taxed so that they will not work. The proponents of this theory believe that the only significance of high incomes is high earners' ability to make whoopee and spend money. This, of course, fails to grasp that high earners create consumer surplus, so that discouraging the productive wealthy from working would devastate national welfare.

Think of it this way. Let's say Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk had become wealthy as scientists. The left would argue that because they had made money in prior work, they should have been discouraged from doing further work because their high incomes might have been irritating to low-income Americans. However, the low-income Americans who would otherwise have suffered from polio might have been more irritated at the economists than at Sabin's and Salk's high incomes. Advocacy of broad policies based on narrow findings about reactions to income inequality puts academics making such generalizations into the quack category.

Brooks adds that the general level of happiness has not changed since 1972 and that economic mobility rather than equality creates happiness among Americans:

"An accurate and constructive vision of America sees a land of both inequality and opportunity, in which hard work and perseverance are the keys to jumping from the ranks of the have-nots to those of the haves. This vision promotes policies focused not on wiping out economic inequality, but rather on enhancing economic mobility."




I normally reply to any email that seems to require a reply. Even abusive emails from Leftists normally get a sarcastic reply. But I get a vast amount of spam so some legitimate messages undoubtedly get trashed by the spam filter. Most spam messages I never see but those that do survive as far as the "Junk mail" folder do at least get a glance at the subject line and sender. And among those I often find legitimate messages. So goodness knows what the spam filter throws out. So if you think I have ignored some message from you, I probably have just not seen it and you should try resending it with an informative subject line. I do however see all comments in the comment box here -- though the spam prevention features make it a bit pesky to use. The old Tongue Tied site had limited spam prevention features in its commenting facility so I was deleting over 500 spam comments there every day!


Brookes News Update

Why do billionaires fund the Democrats' fascist economic policies?: The further away a businessman is from the actual production of physical things the greater is the possibility of him voting for leftist policies. I do not know of a single Democrat billionaire who is directly involved in manufacturing. But I can name those who are perfectly willing to give financial support to the Dems' fascist economic policies
General David Petraeus visits Baqubah: Michael Yon, an independent blogger who embedded himself with the troops, reports that the situation in Iraq looks promising.One should add that the mainstream media is still refusing to report the Hamari village massacre that al Qaeda carried out. This the same media that publishes lies about Coalition troops
Iraq War: Phantom Thunder Update: The media has made it clear that the way the public can find discover the truth about the Iraq War is by reading the reports of independent bloggers like Bill Roggio who have imbedded themselves with the troops. I think that in the course of time the public will eventually find out the extent to which the mainstream media willingly gave aid and comfort to terrorists
Islam's Global War against Christianity: Not a single Christian or Jew lives in peace in the Muslim world, and if it is truly our nation's foreign policy to spread democracy around the world, this issue is the perfect topic for us to press. Back at home, raising Islam's global war on Christianity should be the immediate response to the seemingly endless media grievance machine of radical Islam's Western apologists
More evidence that Marxism is a power cult: Communism on the march in Latin America: Sao Paulo Forum is the headquarters of Latin-American communism. Founded in 1990 by Lula and Fidel Castro under the promise of 'winning back in Latin America all that was lost in Eastern Europe.' It has more than 180 affiliated organizations, both legal parties and criminal gangs, following a common blueprint and marching fast to conquer the absolute power over the continent
President Roosevelt gave the US economy its worse economic recovery, not President Bush: As malicious as ever, democrats claimed that US economy was the worst since the Hoover administration. Now they are arguing that the economic recovery is the worst in US history. Both claims are outrageous lies



Eye in the Iraqi sky: "Insurgents firing rockets at a British base in southern Iraq were spotted and tracked by an Australian unmanned spyplane, then obliterated with a guided bomb from a US fighter jet. In a stunning demonstration of the capabilities of the new ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle, the Australian operators tracked the insurgents for half an hour as they fired one rocket then drove to a different location to fire another. They were not aware they had been spotted until a 227kg JDAM guided bomb exploded in their midst. Television images of the May 1 attack have now been released to media visiting the Australian overwatch battle group base at Tallil, outside the city of Nasariyah in Iraq's southern Dhi Qar province. Under Britain's re-alignment of forces in Basra, it now runs just two major bases. Both are attacked regularly by insurgents who fire mortars and rockets as often as three or four times a day. Australian troops have used the Boeing-operated ScanEagle in Iraq since late last year. Each remote-controlled aircraft has a wingspan of 3m, can stay aloft for up to 15 hours and is equipped with day and night cameras. Video images are transmitted back to base on a secure datalink."

British journalists back down over Israel: "The National Union of Journalists will take "no further action" on implementing the controversial resolution by its members to boycott Israeli goods and services. The NUJ's national executive council (NEC) took the decision and called for members to unite instead behind the union's "key workplace priorities". It unanimously backed a motion that recognised the NUJ would take no further action on the call for an Israeli boycott because the Trades Union Congress has rejected it. The motion was tabled by the NUJ general secretary, Jeremy Dear, and seconded by the union president, Michelle Stanistreet, at a NEC meeting on Friday. It recognised the concerns expressed by some members, chapels and branches about the proposed boycott and said that it had met the terms of the original delegate vote in favour of the boycott at its annual meeting earlier this year by informing the TUC of the conference vote."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


No comments: