… is from page 39 of David Schmidtz’s contribution to David Schmidtz’s and Robert E. Goodin’s important 1998 book, Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility: For and Against :
The gap between the incomes of the rich and the poor seems to have widened over the past thirty years. What does it mean? Does it mean some people’s incomes have always been high, other people’s will always be low, and the gap has widened in real terms? Or does it mean people who are young and poor now have better opportunities than young people had thirty years ago – people are earning more as they age than their counterparts earned thirty years ago, thus producing a gap between poor twenty-year-olds and rich fifty-year-olds that is larger now than it was thirty years ago?
This quotation was the centerpiece of one of my earliest posts here at the Cafe .