In which I reveal myself to be a truly lefty progressive

There is one final point that can be argued, which is whether those with $100 billion actually deserve it. And that’s a matter of philosophy that I’m not really competent to get into. Nor is it an economic point either: economics is not morals and morals are not economics. You’ll have to make up your own minds about “deserve” and just rewards. As a matter of economics though I think we get a pretty good bargain out of letting entrepreneurs keep that small portion of the value they create. For by letting one group keep $100 billion we do rather encourage the next guy with an idea to provide $9 trillion of value to the rest of us. And I just can’t help feeling that that’s a bargain that we the consumers get the better end of.

6 thoughts on “In which I reveal myself to be a truly lefty progressive”

  1. “a bargain that we the consumers get the better end of.”

    I think you are correct, and that’s not even considering the significant downstream benefits for other businesses and trades.

    Rich people don’t just make money, they spend money. When I read about some plutocrat spending lavishly – e.g., building an enormous house, cruising on their yacht, buying expensive clothes, throwing a decadent party – I think of the people who make their living from money the plutocrat pays them. It’s not all about income – its also about spending.

  2. This is just the ultimatum game. Is 1300:100,000,000,000 the right ratio? It’s about right. The zeros are in the right place. Is it optimal? I haven’t the faintest idea, and nor does Tim, and nor does anyone else – as far as I know.

    It’s not a philosophical point, though, but one of practical economics: what ratio works best?

  3. And what if we change the question to….

    Is it OK for someone to make millions, or billions, whilst paying his workers peanuts.

  4. Surreptitious Evil

    Is it OK for someone to make millions, or billions, whilst paying his workers peanuts.

    Just as OK as it is for people to refuse to work for somebody who will pay them peanuts.

    Now, if peanuts is the going rate for that sort job in the economy then that’s hardly an issue for an individual employer, not even one as large as Walmart.

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