12 June 2007

Stop Believing the Reality

Don't tell me you're in perfect health; for I'm in the feel-better business!

Nine days ago, eight Democratic presidential candidates debated for two hours, saying about the economy ... next to nothing. You must slog to page 43 in the 51-page transcript before Barack Obama laments that "the burdens and benefits of this new global economy are not being spread evenly across the board" and promises to "institute some fairness in the system."

Well. When in the long human story have economic burdens and benefits been "spread evenly"? Does Obama think they should be, even though talents never are? What relationship of "fairness" does he envision between the value received by individuals and the value added by them? Does he disagree -- if so, on what evidence? -- with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that "the influence of globalization on inequality has been moderate and almost surely less important than the effects of skill-biased technological change"?

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