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.
What is the difference between economic inequality and poverty? What is political inequality? Is “equality of opportunity” more desirable than “equality of outcome”? Is inequality a threat to the American dream? These are only some of the issues covered in The Heartland Institute’s interview with ARI fellow Don Watkins.
The consensus among pundits about the Democratic presidential debate is that Hillary Clinton “won” in the sense that she came across as trustworthy, likable, and “presidential.” I’ll leave to readers to ponder the use of words like these to describe someone who has been dissembling about her emails for years now and who angrily dismissed a Congressional investigation into the cause of the Benghazi attacks with “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
Stories about government officials getting perks from those with business before them aren’t exactly rare today. Remember those amazing loan deals Senator Chris Dodd received from Countrywide Bank while he was the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee? Or the millions in donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign governments and companies that stood to benefit from arms deals with the U.S. while Hillary was Secretary of State?
Cronyism is on everyone’s lips these days. The conventional view is that wealthy “special interests” — typically businesses — use their resources to influence elections and “game the system.” The result is special favors for them at the expense of everyone else. Ours is a government not of, by, and for the people, this view holds, but of, by, and for the “special interests.” Our system is not capitalism, they claim, but “crony-capitalism.”
Attempting to rally public opinion against the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, New York Times economist Paul Krugman has trotted out the usual array of fear-mongering antitrust platitudes.