I had a long conversation with Noah Smith on the twitter, which was fun. He asked that I first imagine that Person 1 and Person 2 own an apple and an orange respectively. Then he said imagine they 1) do not trade, or 2) trade them. He asks whether (1) or (2) has the same [...]
Part one is here. I’ve been researching how judges deal with tenants using Section 8 vouchers who make claims against landlords for money damages. For instance, when a landlord does not properly maintain the unit (a breach of the implied warranty of habitability), a tenant is generally allowed to receive damages equal to [...]
I think of politics on three levels: 1) abstract normative level, 2) ideal institutions level, 3) non-ideal, “second best” level. In day-to-day analysis, people, myself included, move between these levels without making note of it, which can lead to considerable confusion when trying to figure out what label to attach to someone politically.
So for [...]
Nothing inherently belongs to anyone. What belongs to who is always a function of policy and the way they construct our economic institutions. Accordingly, all incomes are, at a basic level, politically determined. So, you should not act like some kind of baseline (pre-tax market income for instance) demarcates everyone’s true income, with all other [...]
Following the interaction that culminated in my doing a small survey of wonkblog posts to see how they use the word “redistribution,” there has been more discussing going on. Mike Konczal has this post about redistribution, which builds on a sports metaphor I first saw him unveil on twitter a short [...]
Horizontal equity is the idea that people with the same incomes should pay the same taxes. I’ve made some remarks here and there about horizontal equity when trying to explain my view on Pay It Forward. Pay It Forward is a way of funding free higher education by imposing a flat tax on college graduates.
The correct view on the naturalness of distribution is that it isn’t natural. Who gets what is all made up and we can make it up how we want. That’s not to say it’s all arbitrary and all ways of doing it are equal. It is to say that you have to come up with [...]
Amanda Marcotte had a really strange piece today in Alternet, which was cross-posted at Salon. She is apparently trying to respond to conservative efforts to demand liberals articulate where human rights come from. The conservatives Marcotte focuses on claim they come from God, while Marcotte explains that they come from, well, um…don’t worry [...]
Some libertarians (usually the dimmer internet ones) actually think that the non-aggression principle does argumentative work in favor of a libertarian theory. But it clearly doesn’t. Watch.
Suppose I come on to some piece of ground that you call your land. Suppose I don’t believe people can own land since nobody makes land. So obviously [...]
I don’t enjoy any debate that has to do with history or exegesis. But I found myself right in the middle of one such debate today that I found absolutely hilarious.
So I wrote this post at Demos today. It’s a pretty vacuous post in which I observe that being economically insecure harms [...]