Justifying Extreme Inequality? Really?

Posted by Bob Lord

If this wasn't so absurd I might be offended. But it's actually kind of hilarious.

Mitt's go to economist, Greg Mankiw, has written a paper Defending the One Percent. No, really, he has. 

I haven't bothered to read the whole thing. Huff Po skewered it so badly here that it's unlkely to have any credibility. 

Mankiw's basic argument is that the 1 percent are richer than you probably because they are better than you. It's just science! Even the children of the wealthy are probably wealthier and better-educated than you at least partly because their genes are just better than yours, he suggests, and not because these people won the cosmic birth-family lottery that let them be born into wealth and privilege.

There's a lot more to the Huff Po critique than that. Remarkably, he points out the logical flaws in his own argument, but sticks to the argument anyhow. 

Mankiw's views are not unrelated to Mitt's 47% remarks. There's a common thread — elitism and the sense of entitlement associated with it — they share. Both Mitt and his buddy Mankiw, and a fairly hefty chunk of those one percenters (though certainly not all of them) think they're better than the rest of us. 

Here's to the day they discover otherwise. 

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