Links and punishment

Megan McArdle’s response to people who criticize income inequality: isn’t having tenure or a long-term contract very valuable? Isn’t loving your job very valuable? So really talking about inequality is silly because “wealth” is so much more than money.
This, of course, is basically a way to dodge the question. It’s documented that income inequality has a lot of bad effects, so I think McArdle’s fudging because she doesn’t have a good counter-attack. This is, after all, the woman who claimed equality of opportunity is a bad thing (because poor people could take a rich person’s job!), poverty is all the result of bad life decisions, that twentysomethings could get good jobs if they just try, and that it’s much worse when rich people lose jobs than poor people (don’t have the link handy).
•Doctors keep prescribing antibiotics, even when they don’t help.
•Republicans have preserved a program that provides meals to poor kids, but only in rural areas.
•In South Florida, a festival float by the Sons of Confederate Veterans includes a man with a whip. But they insist that’s not a reference to slavery.
•Mississippi has passed a law allowing businesses to refuse any law that burdens the owners’ religious freedom (this is seen as an anti-gay measure—I discuss similar laws here—though sponsors deny that). Some businesses respond by posting We Don’t Discriminate stickers. The religious right freaks out and insists the stickers are an attack on Christianity (though the quoted blog post doesn’t appear on the website it links to). Meanwhile, in Texas, a politician admits that a similar measure would allow a business to refuse Jews, but says that’s irrelevant.
•Despite being discredited and exposed as a fraud years ago, conservative preacher Mike Warnke still has fans. Apparently you can fool some of the people all of the time.
•The authors of Freakanomics try to convince the British government that paying for Brits’ health care is no different from giving everyone in the country a car (i.e., it’s bad).
•David Brooks says democracy is bad because it stops people slashing the safety net as much as he wants. If it’s not following his policies, clearly it has failed! Wonkblog explains that’s wrong, as does Paul Krugman.
Of course, Brooks has always been keen on the old days when a sexist, racist, anti-Semitic clique ran everything from the top down and imposed Order on society. So this new line fits right in. As Echidne of the Snakes says (mentioned at the link) he’d theoretically love Saudi Arabia, where a tight little elite imposes social cohesion and law with zero democracy. Yet, somehow, we’re stuck with him.

4 Comments

Filed under economics, Politics

4 responses to “Links and punishment

  1. Some days I only shake my head (because face-palming smacks the bruises from head-desk banging).

  2. Pingback: Megan McArdle, Justice Alito and Hobby Lobby’s rights | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: Deep advice for Democrats | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  4. Pingback: Monday links: The Suffering Rich and other issues | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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