Sunday, March 3, 2013

Grand Game: Wealth Distribution Video Edition

There's a video making the rounds. I saw it thanks to Mr. Sulu. Lots of good discussion points to be had, particularly for euvoluntaryists. Here's the clip:

Now, before your jimmies get too rustled, consider that some fraction of the top end of that "actual" distribution is there thanks to proper euvoluntary exchange, but probably quite a bit more is sitting there thanks to favorable government policies.

The question then... careful analysis is mentally taxing, so to what extent should thoughtful people see this and cry foul? Is is reasonable to grab the pitchforks over a statistical distribution? Is it relevant how wealth is generated?

The fox is already guarding the henhouse, people. Should we really sharpen his teeth and give him night-vision goggles?


  1. Why should wealth be redistributed? "Fair" seems to be a very difficult word to define. Perhaps the concern should not be that some are very wealthy, but that many are very poor. After all, the members of the later group are non productive, non working members of our society, who are enormous consumers of our national largess. Which group represents the bigger problem?

    1. Part of the problem is in the use of the word "distribution". This word has a meaning in statistics that means something like "each category corresponds to this value", but it also has a vernacular meaning of a superior handing out items to inferiors. It's easy to conflate the two (see my earlier post on envy), and this problem is exacerbated by governments handing out special favors to cherished constituents.

      As for the poor, that's an issue I'd like to explore in greater detail in a future post.

  2. It could use more emphasis (more than you've even given, Sam) that as we move from the perceived or ideal to the reality of the wealth distribution, those dollars aren't taken by the rich from the poor, but usually voluntarily given by the poor to the rich. They aren't suckers. They're life is improved by the transaction!

    But you're also right to point out that when it isn't euvoluntary, it's usually done by the government and its corporate bedmates. The really perverse part is how many poor people are in favor of these policies. It's quite insidious. We'll gladly give you what you want for a price, but we'll also take more than you want to give, and make you like it by appealing to your emotions and morals.


Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?