Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dispelling Myths

I was streaming the BYU radio station, Classical 89, and they had a fascinating discussion on Thinking Aloud.

There were several points I was shocked to hear given the modern day political rhetoric. All I hear from Liberals is that the rich are getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The historical economist said some of these things:

In the last 200 years in the US, the income gap between the rich and poor is virtually unchanged.

Some gaps have changed drastically. The gap between the rich and poor's education is vastly smaller: the top 20% of the highly educated have only 25% of the total education; the bottom 20% of the educated have 15% of the total education.

Consumption of leisure time gives an advantage to the poor. The difference in life span between the rich and poor had decreased drastically in the last 200 years.

I wish that the wealthy did not have more access than the poor to the political process, but the only way to change that is to curtail freedom.

The government is not successful at changing the income distribution, see the New Deal and Great Society.

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