For the Weekend: O Come Emmanuel

Should-Read: Friedrich von Hayek was very clear that a market distribution of income has little to do with "deserve", even putting to one side the idea that perhaps we have not done anything to "deserve" our talents and our industriousness. IMHO, the conservative deference to wealth is rooted not in any moral claim to the justice of wealth distributions but rather to a very different claim—that churn is simply bad: Brink Lindsey and Steve Teles: The Conservative Inequality Paradox: "Conservatives have two intellectual commitments that are increasingly incompatible...

...They believe that the American economy is clogged up with crony-capitalist corruption that hands out special favors and protections to organized interests. They also hold that economic inequality—in particular, the surging share of total income earned by those at the very top—is morally justified by the rights of property and the tendency of free markets to raise living standards overall.... If our economy really is riddled with cronyism, then the beneficiaries must have pocketed large amounts of ill-gotten loot. The existing distribution of income and wealth, therefore, does not deserve the deference it would be due if all gains were derived from spontaneous, unregulated market transactions. Call it the conservative inequality paradox: Either conservatives have overstated the amount of crony capitalism, or their dismissal of the concept of inequality as envy is misplaced...

Comments