Forget About Income Inequality

Opening more economic opportunities will help the poor, not eradicating inequalities.

This article is part of What to Do about Inequality, a Boston Review forum on correcting gross inequities in pre-tax income

Reading David Grusky’s essay is a strange experience: with the wrong diagnosis, he gets half of the right cure.

Grusky maintains that the central problem confronting America is income inequality. He argues that the root cause of this malady lies in how rich people acquire their pre-tax income—by rigging the rules of the market to extract illicit “rents.” In other words, the economic system, not the tax system, is unfair. Therefore, he argues, redistributive taxation—the remedy of choice for progressives—targets the symptom not the cause.

Grusky’s claims about rising income inequality are seriously overblown. But even if they weren’t, it wouldn’t automatically follow that we should care given that the material well being of Americans has not only been improving, but even equalizing across classes. Still, Grusky’s therapies—reforming the higher education industry and doing “something” about obscene CEO salaries—might be desirable if aimed at maximizing opportunities rather than equalizing incomes, which is, at best, a distraction.

Grusky points out, “The share of pre-tax income flowing to the top 1 percent of households increased from less than 10 percent in 1975 to more than 20 percent now.” The implication is that greedy CEOs are gobbling up a greater share of the national wealth, leaving less for everybody else.

But if Grusky wants to measure market-generated income inequality, household income is not the proper metric; individual income is. That’s because market rewards—paychecks, capital gains, and dividends—go to individuals, not households. Gini coefficients, which measure inequality, decreased slightly for individuals between 1994 and 2010, while showing a modest uptick for households, meaning that individuals became more equal and households less so. The uptick in household inequality might be unrelated to the economy. For example, if rich individuals marry other rich individuals and the poor marry poor—as is increasingly the case—household income disparities will increase even though individual incomes remain unchanged. Similarly, a higher divorce rate among the poor would diminish their relative household income even if all individual earnings remain the same. Equalizing incomes across households then would require addressing segregation and family breakdown, not reinventing the economy.

Furthermore, any indictment of capitalism worth its salt has to show not just that the rich are getting richer, but that they do so by making the poor poorer. There is no evidence of that. Facebook recently floated an IPO making Mark Zuckerberg the richest 27-year-old in America. I didn’t notice my bank balance dip.

Many progressives paraded the October Congressional Budget Office finding that between 1979 and 2007 after-tax income of the top 1 percent of households grew 275 percent. They failed to mention that the same study also found a 65 percent income gain in households in the top quintile; for those in the 21st through 80th range, 40 percent; and the bottom quintile, 18 percent. In short, no group lost ground.

Wealth might have been even more evenly distributed in a truly competitive market undistorted by corporate subsidies, onerous regulations that discriminate against smaller players, and barriers to entry that protect incumbents in labor markets and industry. Or not. More open immigration policies, for example, might have allowed more prospective gazillionaires such as Sun Microsystems’ Vinod Khosla and Google’s Sergey Brin into the country, skewing income distribution even further. We’ll never know. We do know that market distortions diminish economic opportunities and are therefore more urgent candidates for reform than out-of-whack CEO salaries, Grusky’s bête noire.

But, despite such opportunity-restricting distortions, America has done a remarkable job of closing the only gap that matters: the personal well-being gap. As economist Tyler Cowen has described, the difference between the basic goods available to average Americans and mega-rich folks such as Bill Gates has steadily decreased. Gates might have personal jets and private gardens. But thanks to technology-driven productivity increases and lowered trade barriers, almost every American can afford bypass surgeries, laptops with Internet access, cars, TVs, and occasional air travel.

What’s more, America remains a highly income-mobile society where poverty is a stage of life, not a way of life. There is no permanent underclass here. A study by Thomas Garrett of the St. Louis Federal Reserve recently found that between 1996 and 2005—nine short years—roughly half of taxpayers who began in the bottom income quintile moved up to a higher one.

To be sure, Americans might be able to scale the income-mobility ladder faster and higher if there were even more opportunities for education and entrepreneurship. That’s why Grusky is right to draw attention to America’s highly cartelized higher-education industry, which has created an artificial scarcity of college slots. Strict accreditation requirements—written by the colleges themselves—have made it very difficult for competitors to set up shop, causing college tuition to shoot up four times more than general inflation in four decades, with no appreciable increase in quality—the exact opposite of the rest of the economy. Breaking this cartel should be a top priority of lawmakers, second only to reforming the K–12 system.

But that requires a commitment to maximizing opportunities and not getting distracted by red herrings such as income inequality.

Shikha Dalmia is a Reason Foundation senior analyst.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Now there is a dude that totally knows what day of the week it is. WOw.

    www.Anon-Nets.tk

  • Koch-sucker gonna FIB!||

    ...the rich are getting richer, but that they do so by making the poor poorer. There is no evidence of that.

    Liar.

    16 Signs That The Rich Are Getting Richer And The Poor Are Getting Poorer
    http://endoftheamericandream.c.....ing-poorer

  • WHITE INDIAN FART||

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  • Tonio||

    #2) A USA Today analysis of government data has found that paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of 2010. During the same time period, government benefits (Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, food stamps, etc.) rose to a record high.

  • mgd||

    And while we're cherrypicking, per your post below--I heard there was a recession or something. Also, a smaller share of personal income means nothing--the gross amounts could very well be higher but losing ground to other sources of income (like government employment...s'pose that might have something to do with it, now that federal payrolls are the largest in history?).

  • Tonio||

    #6) 39.68 million Americans are now on food stamps, which represents a new all-time record. But things look like they are going to get even worse. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting that enrollment in the food stamp program will exceed 43 million Americans in 2011.

    Oh Noes! But of course it's going to be a bigger gross number than ever before if only due to rising population. Duh.

    Cherrypicking, how does it work?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I think they may be lowering the income threshold necessary to get on food stamps as well. What was in the past a program for the abject poor has expanded to include people which could be categorized as middle class. I think many people are taking advantage of "free" money from the government to subsidize their weekly grocery trip.

  • Tonio||

    Oh, I'm sure we could totally debunk this if we got into the details. But the fact that even one of those points are prima facie bullshit tells me we don't need to bother. Of course, the left will continue to believe the narrative because, well, it's the narrative and therefore has to be true.

    You there, orphan, get back to work. That monocle ain't gonna polish itself.

  • ||

    It has been often repeated that amerika does not have a permanent underclass and that it "remains a highly mobile income society".

    Color me unconvinced. Referencing a Federal Reserve "study" as proof of the asseverations is amateur hour.

  • Golden Fleece||

    There is no income inequality gap if you price everything in gold, bitchez.

  • BelowTheRim||

    Another great article. I have a very liberal friend who harps on this type of nonsense a lot.

    As it turns out, my buddy makes about $125,000 annually and of course, works for Duke energy (he is in his mid 20's).

    Gotta love the liberals that make bank, use government to crowd out the competition, and then complain that poor people are getting screwed and that taxes should go up.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    OT: Hey BTR, last November in one of these threads, I claimed that Peyton and Eli Manning were better QB's than Brett Favre. You countered at the time that, "Eli isn't even elite." I wonder now, having won his second SuperBowl, if you would consider Eli elite?

  • BelowTheRim||

    He's a decent QB. But the all time greats are made in the regular season. Don't listen to what the Trent, Tom, and Trey ESPN hacks say about how the playoffs make or break individual careers...they don't just look at A-Fraud.

    Eli is better than what I have to watch but I would still rathar have any of the following QBs right now:

    -Aaron Rodgers (by a wide margin)
    -Peyton Manning
    -Tom Brady
    -Ben Roethlisberger
    -Drew Brees

    P.S. Do you work? BC is seems like you spend all day and night posting on the bloggosphere.

    You are probably one of those guys that calls into JRIB every day and talks about LBC or Chron or UCSB.

    Not that I don't like your posting, its just ubiquitous. Makes me think you are unemployed in your parents' basement.

    Also, punishment for the straw man comment you made in response to my poignant thought on the article at hand.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Yep. Unemployed but looking. I don't live in mom's basement, though. I agree with your QB's comment. Don't call the Rome show, but I am a frequent listener. Sorry to go off topic and destroy your poignant thoughts on the topic at hand. :)

  • ||

    "almost every American can afford bypass surgeries, laptops with Internet access, cars, TVs, and occasional air travel."

    As the Fed keeps printing money to inflate us out of the unpayable debt, that is changing. Look what is happening to gas, airline tickets, and groceries. My salary has gone up and my purchasing power down over the past 4 years.

  • sarcasmic||

    Lucky you. Upper management declared a pay freeze at my shop and there's no end in sight.

  • ||

    sarc, tell me, don't you agree that many of the Reason staffers tend to push the meme that we are always getting wealthier and that things are continually getting better?

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't necessarily disagree with the meme.

    Money is a poor measure of wealth.

    I think about growing up in the late 70s and early 80s. Frozen dinners were a joke. Only rich people could afford a vcr of their own. Everyone else rented them. Air conditioning was a luxury. Bicycles weighed ten times what they weigh now, and if you had shifters they were down on the frame. If your city had nasty tap water, too fucking bad. Water purifiers didn't exist. I could go on and on.

    I consider myself much wealthier than my parents were back then, and we weren't that bad off.

  • Kwanzaa Cake||

    Indeed. The poor in this country are ridiculously wealthy by historical standards and live in pure luxury compared to the truly poor in other countries. This debate isn't about living standards. It is about pure envy stoked by the left.

  • ||

    But you are discounting the fact that it takes far more labor hours to purchase a salmagundi of items, a few of which I noted above. This is the same metric that the Virginia Posterels use to support their narrative - except when it does not fit the narrative.

  • sarcasmic||

    But you are discounting the fact that it takes far more labor hours to purchase a salmagundi of items

    You are discounting the fact that the poor of today live in relative luxury when compared to the rich of fifty years ago. And the poor of fifty years ago lived in relative luxury when compared to the rich of a century ago.

    The rising price of gasoline is an annoyance when you look at the big picture.

  • ||

    Kwanza, stoking envy is one of the tools employed by collectivists; likewise, those who play the relativist game are tools of the collectivists.

  • ||

    You are limiting your assessment, imo.

    Shouldn't economic liberty be included in measuring wealth, properity, etc. IOW, economic opportunity should be included in the mix.

    The poor of fifty years ago had much lower barriers to entry than the poor today.

    The poor of one hundred years ago had much lower barriers to entry than the poor of 50 years ago.

  • sarcasmic||

    Shouldn't economic liberty be included in measuring wealth

    Do you use acceleration to measure velocity?

  • nickexperience||

    This assumes libertarianism is actually about liberty. It's not. It's about 1/2 of liberty, the "freedom from". It disregards as envious the "freedom to".

  • ||

    "libertarianism is...about 1/2 of liberty, the "freedom from". It disregards as envious the "freedom to".

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    We all believe you have the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. None of us believe you have the right to pursue that happiness on the backs of others.

  • mgd||

    Nonsense. "Freedom from" government coercion allows "freedom to" do as you will, providing you are not violating the rights of others.

  • ||

    How about the average poor person who seeks to establish a non-black market business?

    In many lines of work, this means obtaining licensure, paying annual licensing fees, paying filing fees to organize a corporation, llc, etc, along with the annual registration / report fees, getting a business license with the locals and paying the attendant fees and kissing the attendant anteriors, retaining an accountant/CPA and counsel in order to assist you in navigating the troubled waters of regulation / taxation and otherwise not pissing off big bro and the like.

    I submit that the cost of doing the above was far less of a burden on the poor of 50 years ago than today.

    Likewise, the cost of doing the above was far less of a burden on the poor of 100 years ago than the poor of 50 years ago.

  • sarcasmic||

    I submit that the cost of doing the above was far less of a burden on the poor of 50 years ago than today.

    Likewise, the cost of doing the above was far less of a burden on the poor of 100 years ago than the poor of 50 years ago.

    I agree. However I do not see how that matters in this context.

  • sarcasmic||

    By context I mean your 10:10AM post.

  • ||

    nickexperience, there is no poster here more free enterprise than me, nor more anti-envy than me.

    My primary point is that there are several current and former Reason staffers who employ a less than comprehensive yarstick in measuring wealth and prosperity.

  • ||

    sarc, you do see that my point is how we measure?

    I just don't see how you can exclude economic opportunity from the equation?

    IMO, a society replete with de jure barriers to entry, like amerika has, is a scoiety that is far poorer than it could be.

  • sarcasmic||

    a society replete with de jure barriers to entry, like amerika has, is a scoiety that is far poorer than it could be.

    Agreed. But we're still far richer than fifty years ago.

  • ||

    The reason staffers who push this meme appear to exlcude another valuable measuring stick:

    The spectacular misallocation of resources inherent in our "mixed bag" economy.

    A society which devotes the billions of man hours that we do to complying with the Internal Revenue Code is a society which is infintely poorer than it could be.

    Likewise, a society which spends billions of dollars enforcing the tax laws is a society poorer than it could be.

  • ||

    The percentage of rent seeking to true free enterprise activity is also another measurement that should be employed.

    The higher the ratio, the poorer you are, notwithstanding some better made consumer prodcts and a cell phone in the hands of every kid.

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    is a scoiety that is far poorer than it could be.

    Even Shikha above claims that things could be better than they are. However, it is hard to argue against the fact that overall as a society we are better off than 50 years ago.

    In fact, most of the people here who argue that we are better off do it in arguing against further government regulation and intrusion of the kind that you are complaining about.

  • ||

    How are you measuring that "overall as a society we are better off than 50 years ago"?

    Are you including everything?

    Of course, 50 years ago, we could not be communicating as we are right now.

    Of course, Coors Field is much nicer than Fenway, the seats are more accommodating, there are more restrooms and the seats along the first base line do not face center field.

    Of course, we have the NFL network.

    Hey, hobbyinsts are MUCH better off today than 50 years ago. Of course, pictures can lie.

  • ||

    Did you read the whole article? Shikha acknowledges that. But even though those extra barriers exist where they didn't 50 years ago, even the lowest rung on the economic ladder is "better off" than it was then.

  • emperor wears no clothes||

    ...this means obtaining licensure, paying annual licensing fees, paying filing fees to organize a corporation... along with the annual registration/report fees, getting a business license and paying the attendant fees and kissing the attendant anteriors, retaining an accountant and counsel in order to assist you in navigating the troubled waters of regulation / taxation and otherwise not pissing off big bro....
    That's real estate in Canuckistan.
    When consumers look at high commissions, they don't complain that excessive regulation stifles competition and erects barriers to entry. They call for caps on commissions.
    Lesson: Consumers are fkn ret@rds.

  • ||

    For example, if rich individuals marry other rich individuals and the poor marry poor—as is increasingly the case—household income disparities will increase even though individual incomes remain unchanged. Similarly, a higher divorce rate among the poor would diminish their relative household income even if all individual earnings remain the same.

    You shouldn't have mentioned this. The next Leftist scheme: pass a law requiring rich people to marry poor people. The authority will come from the Commerce Clause of course.

  • ||

    No, no, no. That will come from the Necessary and Proper clause.

    Or maybe the Good and Plenty clause.

  • ||

    Access to poorly made electronic devices is hardly the metric one should use in assessing wealth, well-being and overall prosperity.

    One metric that I have seen several Reason scribes trot out is the number of labor hours needed to purchase electronic and other household items like washers, dryers, toasters, TV sets and the like.

    How about the number of labor hours to purchase a tank of a gas? Fill up the oil tank in New Enlgand? A pair of 50 yard line tickets at Gillete or Heinz or The Big House? Filing fee to establish a limited liabilty company in New York, california or Massachusetts? Time spent with accountants, attorneys and government complaince helpers of various and sundry sorts? Non-matinee Movie tickets in Manhattan? Obtain a taxi medallion in New York City or Boston?

  • sarcasmic||

    What is wealth?

  • Wealth is...||

    ...clean water to drink, clean air to breath, good food, quality health, comfortable shelter, and not worrying about friends having children with birth defects or cancer from pollution.

    Except Koch Kapitalizm has turned our atmosphere into a SEWER for a mess of pottage.

    KOCH KILLS.

  • WHITE INDIAN FART||

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  • ||

    We, at least in America, have all of those things. Even if you were able to get rid of all pollution, children would still be born with birth defects and people would still get cancer. Genetics, learn it.

    Also, Koch Industries might be the most evil company in the world, but they aren't the only ones so sit down and shut the fuck up.

  • ||

    Everyone knows Mattel is the most evil company in the world.

  • Tonio||

    I'd say that affordability of food and shelter (housing, heating, electricity) would be the baselines, followed by transport, then semi-essentials like (cell) phone service. Entertainments like DVRs are not essentials.

  • emperor wears no clothes||

    Cell phone service is no more a "semi essential" than getting your balls tickled by a hot blonde on a Friday night.
    Get fkn serious.

  • shrike||

    Liberals Logic: The commerce clause garentees every citizens right to have their balls tickled by a hot blonde on a friday night.

  • sarcasmic||

    Is it just me, or does Obama sound like Dave Chappelle when he's mocking how white people talk?

  • ||

    Dave Chappelle is some funny shit.

  • shrike||

    Better dead than Red

  • the bilover||

    Fuck income inequality. Give me all your money.

  • Liberal Griefer||

    Wealthy white people suck!!!! WHY DO YOU HATE CHILDREN??????????????????

  • Tony||

    almost every American can afford bypass surgeries, laptops with Internet access, cars, TVs, and occasional air travel.

    Really? I look forward to the references being posted for this article. I'm sure it was just an oversight.

  • sarcasmic||

    Only stupid people need references to prove the obvious.

  • Tony||

    Well there's an entire literature demonstrating levels of wealth and income inequality not seen since the Gilded Age in this country, and which links it to all sorts of economic, fiscal, and social problems. I realize a political cult whose primary interest is protecting the wealth of the wealthy won't bother with reviewing that literature, but will instead cherry pick authors who tell it what it wants to hear.

    In the world grownups inhabit, there's a right and a wrong way to make claims. Calling people stupid and proclaiming one's ideas obvious is not the right way, despite Ayn Rand preferring it.

  • sarcasmic||

    shorter Tony: Waaaaaaaaah! Envy! Waaaaaaaaaaaah!

  • ||

    Do you even know any poor people Tony?

    More importantly, why do you hate them? I mean you must hate them since you want them to pay more taxes so you can collect the 3.2 trillion they are holding on to thanks to the Bush Obama tax cuts.

  • nickexperience||

    Tony obviously doesn't want the poor to pay more in taxes. I would guess that he wants tax reform such that loopholes for giant corporations can be closed, capital gains and dividends are taxed just like any other income, etc. I would be willing to bet that those two things, in concert with raising the highest marginal tax rate to 35%, disallowing two sets of books for publicly traded companies (no special tax treatment, just your financial statement books and that's it), and a reduction of the corporate tax rate would result in a major reduction in the deficit and a much more fruitful labor market. Of course, none of this well ever happen.

  • ||

    He most definitely advocates for the tax cuts to be rolled back. And if you think raising the marginal rate for the top bracket is going to do a damn thing then you are just as big a retard as he is.

    The simple fact of the matter is that the bulk of the revenue ($3.2T) from letting the tax break expire would come from the poor and middle class.

  • nickexperience||

    Well, maybe. But that's just because there are more of them (poor and middle class). A lot more since the tax cuts took effect. That's why I suggest putting taxes back to where they were under the first 6 years of the Reagan administration and drastically simplifying the tax code.

    If you DON'T think that raising the marginal rate for the top bracket would do a damn thing then you obviously can't perform basic arithmetic.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Tony can't explain why the enormous War on Poverty and an ever expanding federal gov't has not ended poverty, nor why, in liberals' eyes, poverty is worse. The fucking left has been writing checks non-stop for 50 years and still all we hear about is the poor. Fuck them. My wife handled their state disability claims. The romanticized leftist version of the "poor" is bullshit. They're fucking parasites, and commit child abuse like it's a bodily function.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony has charisn'tma., you have to admit.

  • mgd||

    And the article, and many other sources, explain exactly how meaningless such literature is.

  • Ring||

    I think the bigger issue on inequality is the subsidy of lower income groups at the expense of the middle class to the point that there is little or no disparity in their lifestyles other than the middle class have to go work 80 hours a week.
    Need housing or to pay for college, feds got you covered, need to pay for a hospitalization? Feds got a plan for that. Oh, you have household income of 70K and have managed to scrape some savings together? You're on your own, but not before we tax the crap out of you to pay for everyone else.

    Why the focus so much on the rich I don't know, they have enough influencial politicians in their pocket to look after themselves. What about the larger majority in the middle lumped with paying for everyone else at the expense of their own well being.

  • Ring||

    *80 hours a week being 2 person income

  • nickexperience||

    Have a look at the graph on page 4:

    http://www.interknowledgetech.com/profit per employee.pdf

    What this demonstrates is that corporate profits have increased largely due to extraction of higher and higher rents from their employees. Which means, you and I work harder, have gotten astonishingly more productive, for basically the same amount while the company increases profits and doles them out to senior executives.

  • nickexperience||

    Comment system doesn't like percent symbols in url's apparently.

    Just go here:

    http://bit.ly/kOAEnm

  • Dr. K.||

    This, too, is a common trope trotted out in discussions of income inequality. But it begs the question.

    Are those workers more productive because they are working more/harder? Or because they have better capital/tools to do the work with?

  • nickexperience||

    "Are those workers more productive because they are working more/harder? Or because they have better capital/tools to do the work with?"

    Don't be willfully ignorant. It's a well-known fact that Americans are worker longer hours than they ever have. How hard they work I will admit, is rather difficult to measure.

    Much of the productivity increases are quite obviously tied to better tools, but that doesn't explain longer hours and stagnate wages. If profits are soaring, why is it that labor is considered "rent" to be "extracted" as opposed to "value" to be "rewarded"?

  • ||

    The assumption here is that they were worth every labor penny they were paid when they garnered the higher wage. You're saying in essence that we lost wealth when our home values descended while ignoring the concept that they may not have been truly worth that much to begin with. Tis the market that determines value.

  • ||

    While executives aren't suffering and shareholders are doing well, most of those efficiency gains go to the customers. That is why you can buy cheap Blu-Ray players, HD TV's, and even cars - while gas and grocery prices are skyrocketing.

  • sarcasmic||

    most of those efficiency gains go to the customers.

    Exactly. And the customers happen to be employees as well.

    So while employees may not see more dollars, the dollars that they do see can buy more stuff.

    Higher pay purchasing same price goods and same pay purchasing lower priced goods are equivalent.

    wealth != money.

  • ||

    Except for the stuff they really need, like food and fuel.

  • sarcasmic||

    Food and fuel are not skyrocketing as Hannity and the other talking heads would have people believe.

    Rising? Yes. Skyrocketing? Hyperbole.

    Besides, as long as you don't eat out and don't eat a lot of preprocessed food, you can feed a family without spending a ton of money.

  • sarcasmic||

    The people who are having problems are people who have a huge chunk of their income committed to maintaining debt in the form of credit cards, car loans, etc.

    That's their own damn fault. Nobody put a gun to their head and forced them to finance a snowmobile.

  • nickexperience||

    "So while employees may not see more dollars, the dollars that they do see can buy more stuff."

    Makes perfect sense, which is why I'm sure you would be happy never getting a raise again.

  • nickexperience||

    "While executives aren't suffering and shareholders are doing well, most of those efficiency gains go to the customers. That is why you can buy cheap Blu-Ray players, HD TV's, and even cars - while gas and grocery prices are skyrocketing."

    Wrong. It's just not statistically viable, or particularly insightful, to say that "most" efficiency gains are going to customers. Not when you look at the increase in corporate profit margins and the percentage of those profits that goes to senior management.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    So the poor should strive to become senior management. Continuing to ignore education, getting drunk/high every day, and producing children they can't support isn't the ticket to wealth. Ask the wealthy, do what they did.

  • nickexperience||

    Good solution. Everyone should just become senior management. Lol.

  • Nick Card||

    I find it interesting that no one has commented on the higher education "remedy" that has been proposed here. The idea that colleges need to be "busted" is really ridiculous. Blaming colleges for rising tuition is like blaming oil companies for rising gas prices. The problem in these examples is a heavy-handed government that insists on regulating and then subsidizing every aspect from production to consumption. If college students were provided guaranteed loans and subsidies from the government, then demand for college would be down. Like it or not, most work in this country does not require a college degree, as most training is on-the-job, but we've created a perception of needing a college degree because we've made it "affordable" to everyone (that is, as long as they accept outrageous debt that is guaranteed by the government). Simple supply and demand.

  • ||

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  • Hogeye||

    Dalmia is right on when criticizing the dubious goal of income equality, but seriously misunderstands Grusky when she claims he made an “indictment of capitalism.” Grusky clearly indicted *economic fascism* not laissez faire capitalism. Put another way: he condemned statist capitalism, not libertarian capitalism. Grusky writes, “The core idea is that powerful players have built self-serving and inequality-generating institutions that are often codified in law and come to be represented—through an ingenious sleight of hand—as laissez-faire capitalism.” Ironically, the statist Grusky understands better than the libertarian analyst the difference between the two! Dalmia is falling for what Roderick Long calls “right conflationism” and Kevin Carson calls “vulgar libertarianism” - mistaking the statist quo for laissez faire capitalism. As we know, it is far from that! Using Bill Gates as an example, Dalmia overlooks the massive subsidy gets due to the State giving him a special privilege - the government imposed monopoly called “intellectual property.” For a good critique of this article, read ““Forget About It?” Not On Your Life!” by Kevin Carson here: http://c4ss.org/content/10041

  • emily12||

    New Era Hats
    "it is released by http://www.hatbrandshop.com/ 2012.06.15"

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