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Quotation of the Day…


… is from page 115 of the late Nobel laureate economist Robert Fogel‘s 2012 volume, Explaining Long-Term Trends in Health and Longevity:

The twentieth century contrasts sharply with the record of the two preceding centuries.  In every measure we have bearing on the standard of living, such as real income, homelessness, life expectancy and height, the gains of the lower class have been far greater than those experienced by the population as a whole, whose overall standard of living has also improved.

Compared to the very real growing equality of standards of living, any increasing inequality in the amounts of money that people have in their paychecks or their financial portfolios is insignificant and not worthy of much, if any, attention by serious people.  About the only purpose such a concern with financial inequalities serves today – and it is a purpose wholly pernicious – is to enable power-seeking politicians to play the populist card as they stir up anti-social sensations of enviousness among voters.

It has long been my conviction – one that I was taught by my working-class parents – that any concern with what other people have is worse than misplaced and childish; it’s dangerous.


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