"An Interview with Deirdre McCloskey, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics and of History, UIC"
As usual, a lot of good stuff from Prof. McCloskey. She's asked how much of our GDP should be devoted to government and she replies, "Put me down for 10 percent slavery to government. Not the 30 to 55 percent at present that rich countries enslave."
I like it.
Much of the research on the economics of inequality stumbles on this simple ethical point, focusing on measures of relative inequality such as the Gini coefficient or the share of the top 1 percent rather than on measures of the absolute welfare of the poor. It focuses fashionably on an inequality that’s very hard to measure properly or to alter rather than on a poverty that is very easy to measure properly and alter. They elide the two. Speaking of the legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin’s egalitarianism, the philosopher Harry Frankfurt observed that Dworkin in fact, and ethically, “cares principally about the [absolute] value of people’s lives, but he mistakenly represents himself as caring principally about the relative magnitudes of their economic assets.” We should care about lifting up the poor, not how many diamond-incrusted Rolex or Cartier watches the rich have.