Uwe Reinhardt and Angus Deaton on Wealth, Health and Inequality
"If You Like Your Current Health Insurance, You Can Keep It": DeLong Analytical Failure Weblogging, Chapter CCXI

The First Thing The Washington Center for Equitable Growth Clearly Needs: Better Criticism...: Monday Focus

It's still four days before the launch of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and my weekend's reading around on the internet has led me to identify our first need: higher-quality criticism of what we do...

Dan Kervick, meet James Pethokoukis:

Dan Kervick:

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth--Neoliberalism Reloaded?: "One knows in advance that whatever policy WCEG ends up advocating will have to get the Good Plutocracy seal of approval from the likes of General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Comcast, Walmart Boeing and the other financial backers of Podesta and his political network..."

James Pethokoukis:

Poor Americans Are Richer Today: "The CEP will be a strong advocate of sharply higher tax rates given that its director is Emmanuel Saez, an economist who wouldn’t mind seeing a top tax rate of over 70%.... The CEP will assume that the last few decades have been terrible ones for the US middle-class. Nothing but economic stagnation and exploding inequality. It’s a claim President Obama has repeatedly made. Except it is simply not true..."

May I simply say that there is no "seek approval from Goldman Sachs" button in the WCEG WordPress control suite?

And may I simply say that there is something very wrong with claiming that "it is simply not true" that the last few decades have seen "exploding inequality" here in America, for they have?

In the words of The Fish in the Pot in Dr. Suess's The Cat in the Hat, those are not good games to play. I wish they would stop.

The whole point of this enterprise is to get people to play better games than bold-faced denials of empirical reality on the one hand, and bold-faced dismissals of opposing views as driven by material and ideological blinders on the other. We will succeed if we get people like Dan and Jim to move beyond that. We will fail if we don't.

Any suggestions on how we could best accomplish this?