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Sunday, July 03, 2005

blogroll update

I've been very careful about adding blogs to my blogroll over there on the left. Sure, I could populate it with every blog I read, but no, I want to list only the best blogs, both in quality and quantity. With that in mind, and after careful consideration, I have added Will Wilkinson's "The Fly Bottle". Mr. Wilkinson is a fine writer and I wish he would blog more than he does. Here's a great entry from yesterday entitled "The Unnerving Risk of Being Wealthy: Becoming Slightly Less Wealthy!". Commenting on a piece by Jacob Hacker in The New Republic, Mr. Wilkinson writes:
I've been trying to find someone to tell me that people like Hacker are saying something that is more significant than, say, the risk of being hurt in a car accident went way up after most everyone got car. It's just totally trivial that you can't face the "risk" of your income dropping from $80 to $60K a year if you never made $80K. But why exactly is it that the "risk" of losing a quarter of your income is a risk anyone ought to care about if you'll still be pretty damn rich when you hit the downside. I understand what's going on when people want the state to guarantee a minimum, but I am totally mystified by the normative sensibility behind Hackeresque worries about increasing volatility for the upper and middle classes.
But, of course, there is no normative sensibility. Hacker writes what he writes because he believes that the only way for left-wingers to regain power is to frighten everyone in the middle class into believing that only the Feds can save them. What Hacker most assuredly does not want people to think about is this:
We are richer because of the possibility of swings in income. The efficiency of the economic order, and the overall rate of growth, depends on the ability of the system to dynamically allocate resources to their most valuable use. This entails a fair amount of turbulence inside the general upward trend. Our economic security requires that we be exposed to some income volatility.
Of course, there is a lot we could do to make things better for the middle class (and the poor and the rich), but it would be the opposite of what Hacker wants. By eliminating government programs that make our economy worse and actively harm people, we could make the inevitable volatility easier to bear and re-empower people to deal with their own problems. Imagine the tax breaks we could give to the middle class if we eliminated all farm subsidies and corporate welfare! Of the benefits of real free trade! But neither of those items is on the agenda of the left, is it?


Blogger Unknown said...

Hey, quality matters but you look a little slim on the links section. Just my opinion - plenty of space along the side that is not doing anything - If all else fails use a picture uploader like Flickr - plenty of pictures on the web that might be appporiate - just a thought - it's your site.

11:51 PM  
Blogger Ross said...

I was being a bit facetious, but thanks for the suggestion. Clearly, your blog is a quality blog, at least from what I can tell of the blogs on your list. Consider yourself added!

3:05 PM  

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