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What will health-care reform mean for abortion rights?

• Will Wilkinson gives us the libertarian take on inequality.

• Richard Cohen likes his medicine like he likes his, well, um, something. But socialized. He likes his medicine socialized is what I'm trying to say.

Is Obama fighting the last war?

By Ezra Klein  |  July 14, 2009; 6:35 PM ET
 
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"Richard Cohen likes his medicine like he likes his, well, um, something. But socialized. He likes his medicine socialized is what I'm trying to say."


very nice .... :-)

Posted by: teacher508a | July 14, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with earned income inequality. Just have everyone inherit the same amount so that some people don't start life with nothing (or huge debt) while others start without a need to work a day in their lives, and I'll be happy with any disparities that occur over a single lifetime. Why does a father's right to decide who gets his money when he dies trump a billion people's right not to starve?

Posted by: Ulium | July 14, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

That income equality paper was just weird to read - it felt like the first time I read "The Bell Curve" - the same sense of a lot of studies being put into entirely illogical contexts to prove his 'inequality is not *that* bad' point.

Among other things is his absolute fervor for making sure credit is available so people can continue to consume. Well, that's a neat eal if you rich - you can keep loaning money to the diminishing middle class and poor, so they still *feel* like like they're part of an expanding middle class style economy - and in turn you not only get a bigger percentage of the overall GDP, but you get an extra cut of the GDP that *Wasn't* already headed to your top x% of the economy.

As long as nothing goes wrong with the economy so the poor couldn't actually pay you back. *That* would be a problem, since it would simultaneously slow down the circulation in the money supply, while highlighting the fact that you've been screwing them.

But that's crazy talk.

Posted by: Jonnan | July 15, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

"Why does a father's right to decide who gets his money when he dies trump a billion people's right not to starve?"

Because they aren't starving for want of money; they are starving for want of food.

The day the light comes on and you see the difference is the day you stop being a liberal.

Posted by: whoisjohngaltcom | July 15, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

"As long as nothing goes wrong with the economy so the poor couldn't actually pay you back. *That* would be a problem, since it would simultaneously slow down the circulation in the money supply, while highlighting the fact that you've been screwing them."

Right. So some rich guy decides it's a better investment to lend you his money than to buy something for his own enjoyment. Then the economy goes south and you can't pay him back. And this highlights the fact that *he's* been screwing *you*? While you've been consuming the product of *his* labor??? How is that, exactly?

Posted by: whoisjohngaltcom | July 15, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

You should be commended, Ezra, for putting Wilkinson's piece here. That sort of thinking is dangerous to your cause.

Posted by: whoisjohngaltcom | July 15, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

I find it very, very interesting that Will Wilkerson brings up the difference in inequality in consumption and income in recent years without once discussing the increased use of debt or decline in savings to sustain consumption.

Since consumption apparently has been sustained largely through the increase in debt over the last couple of decades he is very guilty of the typical right wing think tank technique of throwing up a bunch of straw men and ignoring the really important factors. In this case the important issue is the growth of debt and/ or fall in savings.

Posted by: seerrees | July 15, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

"I find it very, very interesting that Will Wilkerson brings up the difference in inequality in consumption and income in recent years without once discussing the increased use of debt or decline in savings to sustain consumption."

What I find very, very interesting is that this is *exactly* the context in which he refers to debt and consumption.

And speaking of strawmen, you should consider whether debt has been used to "sustain" a living standard as you assume, or to unrealistically *advance* it.

When people upgrade into houses they can't really afford, that is not "sustaining" a living standard, is it?

Posted by: whoisjohngaltcom | July 15, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"Because they aren't starving for want of money; they are starving for want of food."

-whatisjohngaltsmokingcom

Posted by: Ulium | July 15, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Ulium, I believe you implied there was a choice between allowing a father to decide where his money goes and feeding a billion hungry people.

Somebody may be smoking something here, but it ain't me. If a father's money is tied up in wheat fields and you sell it off, then what, exactly, do you propose that they eat?

It's a false choice. If a person makes enough that his children won't even need to work, then that's good for him. Everyone should strive to be as valuable to his fellow man.

Or we could just pick at his estate like vultures in the name of "world hunger."

Posted by: whoisjohngaltcom | July 15, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

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