Writing in the Financial Times, Deirdre McCloskey contrasts equality with improvements in the quality of life of the poor.  A slice:

In relative terms, the poorest people in the developed economies and billions in the poor countries have been the biggest beneficiaries. The rich became richer, true. But the poor have gas heating, cars, smallpox vaccinations, indoor plumbing, cheap travel, rights for women, low child mortality, adequate nutrition, taller bodies, doubled life expectancy, schooling for their kids, newspapers, a vote, a shot at university and respect.

Never had anything similar happened, not in the glory of Greece or the grandeur of Rome, not in ancient Egypt or medieval China. What I call The Great Enrichment is the main fact and finding of economic history.

Yet you will have heard that our big problem is inequality, and that we must make men and women all equal. No, we should not—at least, not if we want to lift up the poor.

(Note: I disagree with a point that Deirdre makes elsewhere in her excellent op-ed – namely, Deirdre’s endorsement of heavy inheritance taxation as a desirable policy.  I’m sure that Deirdre seldom encounters people who are less trusting than she is of exercises of government power, but I am indeed one of those rare people.  [On the question of heavy inheritance taxation - a policy also favored by my late colleague Jim Buchanan - see Gary Anderson's and Pamela Brown's splendid 1985 paper, "Heir Pollution."])

Todd Zywicki, a GMU colleague from over in the law school, explores the happy influence of Bruno Leoni on F.A. Hayek.

Speaking of Todd, he’s one of the authors of this new book, from Oxford University Press, on consumer credit (which I’ve just ordered).

My brilliant and creative colleagues at the Mercatus Center offer this tool to measure the burden of regulations promulgated by Uncle Sam.

Here’s Shikha Dalmia on ‘the libertarian moment’ and its scoffers.

Here’s Jerry Jordan reflecting on Hayek and sound money.

Finally, Matt Zwolinski – using sound economic reasoning – reflects on the morality of payday lending.

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