Income Inequality Matters

Roger Koppl in a nicely done piece.

I should memorize this paragraph for the next dinner party:

Liberal political theory tells us to expect that sort of thing as a sort of disease to which the body politic is subject under representative democracy. Our presumption, then, should be that much of the inequality of any epoch is produced by tariffs, licensing restrictions, bailouts, and other specific acts of governments. Most of the time the game is rigged more or less. (The trick of constitutional design is to minimize this evil bathwater without tossing out freedom or democracy.) The more a society’s income distribution is determined by politics and not markets, the more it will be skewed away from whatever pattern would emerge in a less fettered market economy. And in general, that skew will be toward greater inequality. As the political component grows, we can expect power to be concentrated in fewer and fewer hands and income distribution be more and more unequal. If political power is growing, we should strongly suspect that some of the rich are using the state to squeeze money from most of the poor.

My friends on the left keep thinking it’s all about the people in charge. They don’t seem to be able to grasp the notion that it is the system they really should be complaining about and working to change.


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