I wrote a post today about Brad Plumer’s redistribution blindspot. The basic point is that Plumer uses the word “redistribution” in an ideological way that privileges an “everyday libertarian” baseline, deviations from which are considered redistribution.
This set off the twitters, with primarily Dylan Matthews arguing back. I never did figure out what [...]
Some Brown students interrupted the speech of Ray Kelly, New York Police Chief. Then people argued about it on twitter. Then the Nation ran a point-counterpoint style forum for some of the key actors. Half think it is OK to interrupt and effectively shut down the speech. Half think it is not.
I’ve written on charity stuff before. When it comes to economic issues, I prefer justice to charity. I prefer that we arrange our distributive institutions to achieve a fair distribution, not allow unfair distributions to happen that we then maybe ameliorate through private transfers. I think Oscar Wilde’s argument on this [...]
According to Wikipedia, paternalism is a behavior, by a person, organization or state, which limits some person or group’s liberty or autonomy for their own good. Anti-paternalism, it then follows, is the view that we should not limit some person or group’s liberty or autonomy for their own good. In the kinds of [...]
I try to keep track of as much of the left as I can. One part of the left that I enjoy observing — although have never really found myself able to engage with — is the social justice tumblr set. Broadly identitarian feminist in its basic orientation, this set has sprawled out a whole [...]
JW Mason relays a pathetic argument for austerity out in the Financial Times. The basic thrust of the argument, as Mason’s title mockingly summarizes, is that austerity is good for the soul.
Austerity, which here just means having less, will lead to better health by limiting food access. It will promote “common purpose [...]
Note: I use “public goods” in a general sense here as goods provided by the public, whether non-excludable or not.
Arguments about public goods tend to be very sloppy. Advocates for such goods often conflate distributive issues with public provisioning issues, even though the two are conceptually distinct. This is partly what I was getting [...]
The above video is one you see excerpted quite a bit in films and television when points about capitalism or the American economic system are being made. It is a fascinating film on many fronts, but two stand out for me.
First, bits of it are completely vacuous. It is one thing to provide [...]
Anyone residing on the left has heard it many times before. We shouldn’t reform our distributive institutions to achieve our distributive goals; instead, we should keep the present distributive institutions in place and try through individual charity to achieve what we want. That is, don’t tax the rich and feed the poor. Let the rich [...]
The blogosphere is ablaze with discussions of redistribution: who redistributes to who, how much redistribution is happening, and so on. As it is, the discussion is not particularly lopsided. The right-wing can claim we are redistributing to poor folks because of government programs. The left-wing can claim we are redistributing to rich folks because of [...]