Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Salman v. United States, a case that illustrates the vague, arbitrary, and capricious nature of insider trading “laws.” Insider trading laws restrict people’s ability to buy and sell securities based on “material nonpublic information.” But what the government considers insider trading is often so nebulous that it amounts to ex post facto law: in many cases, it is impossible to know whether you’ve committed a crime until the government says you committed one.
In Equal Is Unfair, Yaron Brook and I argue that one of the problems with the concept of “economic inequality” is that it lumps together two fundamentally different things: inequality that reflects differences in productive achievement and inequality that reflects some people’s ability to gain unearned wealth. Package-deals like this lay the groundwork for injustice.
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the publication of Ayn Rand’s first novel, We the Living. In her foreword to the novel, Rand explains that although the book is set in 1920s Soviet Russia, We the Living is not a historical novel: it “is a story about Dictatorship, any dictatorship, anywhere, at any time” and its goal is to show what “the rule of brute force does to men and how it destroys the best.”
In Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality, Yaron Brook and I argue that the campaign to fight economic inequality is unjust. One response I’ve heard from people who have only seen the title of the book (and one critical reviewer) is that we’re attacking a straw man. No one advocates full economic equality, they say.
I’m not a huge golf fan — truth be told, I know next to nothing about the sport. But I nevertheless was fascinated by Tiger Woods’s recent interview with Time magazine, where he talked about the prospect of having to retire from golf at the age of 40 due to injury.
Last week saw the so-called Million Student March, where students around the country — probably not a million of them — organized to demand free college, the cancellation of all student debt, and a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers.