Tags: Sowell | income | inequality | intent

Sowell: Income Inequality Doesn't Signal 'Some Malign Intent Somewhere'

By    |   Monday, 09 February 2015 01:05 PM

Legendary economist Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, has an interesting take on the issue of income inequality.

"The argument is that if some are poor and others are rich, that shows there must have been some malign intent somewhere that caused that," he told Investor's Business Daily.

But this argument is wrong, Sowell said. "When you talk about peoples located in different parts of the world, you get into, for example, geography. Geography is just not egalitarian." Some countries have much harsher environments than others, he notes.

"It's undeniable to me that the world is not a level playing field, it has never been a level playing field, it shows no signs of becoming a level playing field," Sowell said.

So how do we deal with that?

"There are all kinds of things you can do for the guy who was born on the short end," he said. "But don't pretend [he had] any reasonable possibility from the outset without some kind of intervention. And sometimes even with the intervention, because you can't intervene inside his mind."

Nobel laureate economist, Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University sees things differently. He doesn't view income inequality as inevitable in a market-based economy.

"The problem of inequality is not so much a matter of technical economics. It’s really a problem of practical politics," Stiglitz writes in The New York Times.

"The American political system is overrun by money. Economic inequality translates into political inequality, and political inequality yields increasing economic inequality," he argues.

"Ensuring that those at the top pay their fair share of taxes — ending the special privileges of speculators, corporations and the rich — is both pragmatic and fair. We are not embracing a politics of envy if we reverse a politics of greed."

But it's not just about increasing taxes on the rich, Stiglitz notes. "[It's] also about our children’s access to food and the right to justice for all. If we spent more on education, health and infrastructure, we would strengthen our economy."

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Legendary economist Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, has an interesting take on the issue of income inequality.
Sowell, income, inequality, intent
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2015-05-09
Monday, 09 February 2015 01:05 PM
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