Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Great Gatsby Curve

Candidate Evaluations: Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush is finally officially running for president. He delayed a while so that he could set up his super-PAC, Right to Rise. Bush plans to outsource the operation of his campaign to Right to Rise so that he can circumvent existing campaign finance laws. There is no limit to the size of donations to super-PACs, and donors can remain anonymous. Legally, all Bush has to do is ensure that no member of his campaign directly operates the super-PAC. In any case, let’s look at the guy, shall we? I’ll be evaluating Bush’s background, policy history, and explicit statements to determine whether or not he would make a good president. I won’t be paying attention to electability or likeability, as is often common elsewhere on the web.

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The Great Gatsby Curve

Today, Paul Krugman drew to my attention some interesting work by economist Miles Corak on what is called “the Great Gatsby curve”, the tendency for economic inequality to lead to decreased social mobility. The curve is fascinating, because it illustrates a genuine negative empirical consequence from the present distribution of wealth in the United States. This negative consequence is no more negative if you’re on the right or if you’re on the left. The most committed right-winger still thinks that we should have a high degree of social mobility–capable children born to poor parents should be successful, while incapable children born to rich parents should fail. The Great Gatsby curve indicates that this does not happen–our outcomes directly influence the next generation’s opportunities. This connects equality of outcome with equality of opportunity in a way that should be disturbing to the right.

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