By Dr. Ray Kessler, who is, incidentally, a retired Prof. of Criminal Justice, former defense attorney and prosecutor is your host. I am also a part-time instructor in Criminal Justice at Richland College, an outstanding, 2-year institution in Dallas, TX.
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Monday, December 21, 2015
More on economic inequality, book review
My thoughts:Economic inequality is not just a problem of
the poor.The middle class is feeling it
big time, and, according to many theories, a strong middle class which views
its democracy as legitimate is a prerequisite to stable democratic
government.We must be careful not to
interfere with constitutional rights when dealing with II.The deck is stacked by government policies of
all types in favor of the top of the economic ladder. It doesn't have to be this way. Let's readjust the stack (see end of post). Is this a government that will share the
benefit of lasting or deserved legitimacy?
Anarcho-capitalists and free-market extremists will howl. However, the only thing they have to offer is the rich and powerful exploiting, if not enslaving, those below.
The NYT Book
Review includes brief reviews of 5 books taking different perspectives on the
income inequality (II) issue.Excerpts
follow with my comments in [ ].
He grants that economic disparities that result
from corrupt, coercive, anti-competitive or criminal transactions [and other government
policies which serve only special, affluent segments] are “bad,” but he
maintains that a great many others result from voluntary transactions that
benefit all parties involved and are “good.” Still other economic disparities,
like those that arise as byproducts of demographic changes, are neutral. For
example: The growing tendency for wealthy people to marry other wealthy people
—[Personal choices and constitutionally protected rights should not be
regulated in the name of II} . . .
Democrats, as we
know, use higher taxes to fund programs like Social Security, Medicare and
Medicaid, which serve society’s poor and vulnerable. That is the public welfare
state. But Republicans do much the same thing in the service of a private
welfare state: They use tax breaks to subsidize employer-sponsored 401(k) plans
and employer-sponsored health insurance, which serve the better-off. Faricy
observes that tax breaks, logically speaking, are just government spending in
another guise (both cost the government money), and that programs like the 529
college savings account, which is supported by such a tax break, are welfare
programs for rich families. (About 70 percent of that program’s benefits go to
households making more than $200,000 a year, costing the government $1 billion
over the next decade.) . . .
theorist Clement Fatovic argues that a concern with economic inequality has
deep roots in the establishment of the United States. Tea Party heroes like
Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, far from seeing government promotion of
economic equality as inherently at odds with individual liberty, often
considered greater equality to be a precondition for liberty, a view that
influenced such proposals as free public schools and a more progressive tax system.
For Faricy, the real
question is not some fanciful speculation about whether you can tolerate a
welfare state that hampers your freedom, but rather a matter of which of these
two welfare states you want: the one that spends public money to increase
economic inequality, or the one that spends public money to reduce it.”[Let’s
decrease federal and state regulation by eliminating that which favors the
fortunate and reduce it to that which truly protects the nation and helps with
the II problem.I bet the net result
would be less regulation]