Edward Conard argues that American innovationism is a source of both rising financial inequality in America and rising standards of living for the masses around the world. (Ignore Conard’s closing complaint about American trade deficits; as David Henderson explained, Conard gets this topic wrong.) Here’s a slice from Conard’s essay:
Instead, advocates of redistribution cavalierly diminish the importance of incentives. They claim the success of America’s 1% stems from rising cronyism despite overwhelming evidence that the status quo has grown less entrenched. Seventy percent of the wealth of the top 0.1% is owned by self-employed business owners who bested competitors to satisfy customers, not cronies, to earn their success. Today, the Forbes 400 richest Americans are “less likely to have inherited their wealth or to have grown up wealthy” and “more likely to have started their businesses.” Similarly, average CEO tenures have shortened. Public company CEO pay has not risen faster than private company pay where owners, not cronies, control boards. Nor has CEO pay risen faster than the value of the companies they manage. Instead, the rise in CEO pay comes almost entirely from the formation of new companies with high employee pay rather than from increased CEO pay relative to their employees.
GMU Econ PhD candidate – and Baton Rouge native – Scott Burns, writing in U.S. News & World Report, counsels that government should stay out of the way of private efforts to supply disaster relief. A slice:
The death toll [from Hurricane Katrina] could’ve been much higher had it not been for the thousands of original Cajun Navy members who defied government edicts and launched their boats to rescue neighbors. Their courage provided a stark example of the how the power of civil society shined through despite rampant government failures.
Robert Rector details 15 little-known facts about low-income Americans. (HT Tim Townsend)