Sunday, April 6, 2014

Reducing Inequality

    A  full-time minimum wage worker--- a burger flipper, say---  earns  $15,000 annually.  The median doctor earns $190,000. The average pay of a Fortune 500 CEO is $10.5 million.  Is this inequality bad? Ought we to tax the doctor to give money to the burger flipper, and tax the CEO to give money to the doctor?  Many, probably most, people think so, though I personally wonder why redistribution, as opposed to "equal sacrifice in taxation" or "taxation for benefits"  is justified. 

   If it is, though, should we be taking from the CEO to give to the doctor? Or should the transfer go straight from CEO to burger flipper, with no transfer to the doctor? It depends on your theory of why inequality is bad, I suppose--- and I'd be interested in hearing answers in the comments. 

      Of course, ought redistribution to benefit anybody in the United States? Median household income in Russia is $12,000, in India it is $3,000, and in Liberia it is $1,000.

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