Twitter got real fired up today about a post I made last week. In it, I attacked a Megan McArdle piece in which she argues that providing poor people more resources would not solve the pain they experience from relationships and status and (some of them) being out of work and so on. [...]
McArdle has this piece about how increasing the incomes and economic security of people won’t solve everything. You can read the whole thing if you want, but basically the idea here is that there are other harms in the world than not having an adequate level of income and economic security, including harms [...]
Megan McCardle has been going on about how failure is good of late, owing to having written a book about it. The argument is pretty generic: failures come from risk-taking and deviations from the norm that are necessary for people to come up with new ideas and such. Accordingly, she recommends [...]
In my prior post, I highlighted a passage from the 19th century British journal The Christian Socialist about the inadequacy of economic mobility and opportunity. Here is the exact same sentiment expressed in the B.o.B. song “Both of Us” featuring Taylor Swift:
Cause if life is an up hill battle
The Christian Socialist was a British publication in the late 19th and early 20th century. I pulled out this fun bit:
If the means of production were monopolised by one individual, everybody would admit that a man in such a position would have despotic power over the lives and thoughts of those who [...]
In his 1888 State of the Union, Cleveland wrote this:
Our cities are the abiding places of wealth and luxury; our manufactories yield fortunes never dreamed of by the fathers of the Republic; our business men are madly striving in the race for riches, and immense aggregations of capital outrun the imagination in [...]
I was struck by this passage from “Poverty Amid Plenty”, a report produced by a 1969 presidential commission:
To go to school costs money — books, notebooks, pencils, gym shoes, and ice cream with the other kids. Without these the child begins to be an outcast.
To go to church costs money — some Sunday [...]
Yesterday, I argued that poor kids do not get traditional media jobs because growing up poor puts them so far behind their non-poor peers that they get out-competed for the scarce media jobs. I think the following graph, which tracks likelihood of college attendance at age 19 by parental income, is very telling on this [...]
Jennifer Pan has a piece Jacobin about the labor of social media. I enjoyed the bits about the extent to which social media jobs are essentially gendered emotional labor jobs in which predominately women interface with the public for a given company while the power structure that runs the company remains male-dominated.
Some people really loved the Economic and Political Manuscripts of 1844, which Marx never published. I call those people alienation Marxists or sometimes species-being Marxists. Those from high socioeconomic backgrounds seem especially prone to becoming species-being Marxists, presumably because all the stuff about exploiting the proletariat is of little use to them personally.