The Founding Fathers Weren't Concerned With Economic Inequality

thermodynamic

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http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/does-income-inequality-really-violate-us-principles/479577/

Well, duh, even coming from a "liberal" website. They had slaves, did human trafficking, and still had the time to say "a penny saved is a penny earned" for using someone else's labor without conscience. It's a bit hypocritical since the Constitution does discuss "life", "liberty", "general welfare", and so on, and all of those - and others - have to revolve around money unless a real cashless society is created.
 

vrDrew

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easier/better times arguably :p
Not if you had a toothache. You liked to bathe in hot water more than once a month. You liked drinking clean water; having a flush toilet; and being able to read once the sun went down. Or if you happened to be a slave in Virginia or Georgia.

There was economic inequality for sure at the time of the American Revolution. But that didn't mean that the founders weren't concerned about building a society built around fundamental principals of equality. (That whole "all men are created equal" thing. But it was also present in their decision to abolish the idea of hereditary or other titles of nobility. The founders didn't want the great-grandchildren of the wealthy landowners of 1785 to be Dukes of Boston or Earls of New York.

And thats the danger of our current economic climate. Not that we are going to start granting Knighthoods or Dukedoms. But the reality that the children of the wealthy today not only have greater economic resources - but they have greater access to the educational and business experiences that tend to perpetuate wealth. Children of the poor struggle to get basic medical care and make it through high school (and stay out of prison). The children of the middle class are struggling to pay for college. While the rich get access to exclusive private schools; can afford to take unpaid internships in high-status occupations; and expensive overseas travel.

The DuPonts and Rockefellers were really rich in 1900. Their great-great grandchildren a still rich over a century later. Maybe not on the scale of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. But there are a lot more of them. In comparison, relatively few of the great fortunes of Britain, France, Germany, or Russia in 1900 survived. The economic and physical destruction of two world wars did a lot. But so did inheritance taxes, a concept we seem to have abandoned in this country.
 

SHNXX

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All men are created equal probably refers to equal opportunity.

Equal abilities obviously don't make any sense and wouldn't be consistent with real life.

In what world do humans have equal intellectual or physical abilities?
Equality of outcome is neither realistic nor desirable, because the only means to achieving it is by compulsory confiscation of individual property (i.e. Communism or extremely high taxation) and thus limiting individual liberty.

It's not only unrealistic to take Bill Gates' money, it's also immoral to do so.
 

Renzatic

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All men are created equal probably refers to equal opportunity.
Exactly. It isn't that everyone has to be equal in all regards, so much as everyone should have the same chance to succeed by their own merits and hard work. The major goal of modern equality is to eliminate any social or economic barriers that prevent some people from climbing as high as they could.

In other words, it doesn't matter if you start out rich or poor, sick or healthy, if you're brilliant at something, there's nothing stopping you from being brilliant at it.
 
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SHNXX

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Exactly. It isn't that everyone has to be equal in all regards, so much as everyone should have the same chance to succeed by their own merits and hard work. The major goal of modern equality is to eliminate any social or economic barriers that prevent some people from climbing as high as they could.

In other words, it doesn't matter if you start out rich or poor, sick or healthy, if you're brilliant at something, there's nothing stopping you from being brilliant at it.
Wow. Did you just become a libertarian?
 

Renzatic

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Wow. Did you just become a libertarian?
Really truthfully honestly, the difference between you and I are really just a few scant degrees.

I don't think the government should provide everything for everyone. You want more, you have to work for it. No one is entitled to a mansion in the Hamptons.

But that doesn't mean the government should leave all matters social and economics to the whims of its heaviest players. The government does have the responsibility of providing a safety net to prevent people from becoming stuck in an economic rut. No matter how many poor decisions you make, or how bad your luck happens to be, you always have a way to get back up on your feet, and start climbing the ladder again. A perpetual chance of upward mobility is the major concern of the government regarding its people. This can be done with social programs and subsidizes.

...and, of course, halfway decent management regarding the programs it administers.

The government doesn't provide everything for the people, merely protects the means people use to provide everything for themselves.

If you're a libertarian, you probably believe that no government involvement in the market is the most preferable option. I think there should always be just enough to provide a base standard.
 

SHNXX

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Really truthfully honestly, the difference between you and I are really just a few scant degrees.

I don't think the government should provide everything for everyone. You want more, you have to work for it. No one is entitled to a mansion in the Hamptons.

But that doesn't mean the government should leave all matters social and economics to the whims of its heaviest players. The government does have the responsibility of providing a safety net to prevent people from becoming stuck in an economic rut. No matter how many poor decisions you make, or how bad your luck happens to be, you always have a way to get back up on your feet, and start climbing the ladder again. A perpetual chance of upward mobility is the major concern of the government regarding its people. This can be done with social programs and subsidizes.

...and, of course, halfway decent management regarding the programs it administers.

The government doesn't provide everything for the people, merely protects the means people use to provide everything for themselves.

If you're a libertarian, you probably believe that no government involvement in the market is the most preferable option. I think there should always be just enough to provide a base standard.
I'm not a libertarian in the purest sense.
Government is absolutely required for a functioning civilized society.

But I do believe that those governing are inherently misaligned with taxpayers and therefore policies with good intentions do not results in good results.
Safety net is a good example.
Minimum wage, free education and free healthcare all sound good, but they all have their own unintended consequences.

Minimum wage leads to unemployment of the least abled workers and unskilled young people.
Free education leads to transfer of wealth from the poor, intellectually less abled to richer, intellectually more capable, as well as rising education costs (due to increase of demand but no increase in supply).
Free healthcare leads to lower quality care and more expensive healthcare (once again, since demand is increased, but supply is not increased.... physicians and government work together to limit the number of doctors, etc)
A good example of a national healthcare system gone wrong is South Korea. It's been reported that something close to 40% of physicians in Korea are plastic surgeons, because it doesn't make much economic sense to be a regular doctor.
The end result is worse healthcare for everyone, except those who can afford to pay for private healthcare.

That is not to say, all of the above should be abolished, but one has to recognize that free market solutions are usually cheaper, better and more adjusted to forces of supply and demand.

Taken to the extreme, government controlling 100% of economic planning, prices, and output lead to economic disasters such as Mao's China, Stalin's Russia, and Kim's North Korea.
No serious libertarian believes that government intervention should be 0% of GDP, since that would mean no military, no police, no roads, no firefighters, etc.
But the answer is probably closer to 30%, than 50-60%.

On that note, I found this link for government spending as a function of GDP.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_spending

I don't believe for one second that the Chinese government spends 24% of GDP or United Arab Emirates government 23.7% as the data say, so it seems that accuracy of this table is highly suspect.

Perhaps more interestingly, there seems to be a correlation between government spending as a % of GDP and reduction in long-term growth rate, according to OECD.
http://www.oecd.org/eco/economicoutlook.htm
http://i2.wp.com/thinkbynumbers.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Total-Government-Expenditure-as-a-Percent-of-GDP-vs-Growth-Rate.jpg?resize=1024,579

Apparently, economists call this the "Rahn Curve."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahn_curve

I've also found similar description by the name of "Armey Curve" and a related idea called Laffer curve which relates to government revenue as a function of tax rate.
 
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Meister

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All men are created equal probably refers to equal opportunity.

Equal abilities obviously don't make any sense and wouldn't be consistent with real life.

In what world do humans have equal intellectual or physical abilities?
Equality of outcome is neither realistic nor desirable, because the only means to achieving it is by compulsory confiscation of individual property (i.e. Communism or extremely high taxation) and thus limiting individual liberty.

It's not only unrealistic to take Bill Gates' money, it's also immoral to do so.
It refers to being equal before the law.
That's all.

People never had equal opportunities.
That's not how the world works.

Trying to make people equal through big government is a mental illness aka "social justice".
[doublepost=1461647273][/doublepost]
I'm not a libertarian in the purest sense.
Government is absolutely required for a functioning civilized society.

But I do believe that those governing are inherently misaligned with taxpayers and therefore policies with good intentions do not results in good results.
Safety net is a good example.
Minimum wage, free education and free healthcare all sound good, but they all have their own unintended consequences.

Minimum wage leads to unemployment of the least abled workers and unskilled young people.
Free education leads to transfer of wealth from the poor, intellectually less abled to richer, intellectually more capable, as well as rising education costs (due to increase of demand but no increase in supply).
Free healthcare leads to lower quality care and more expensive healthcare (once again, since demand is increased, but supply is not increased.... physicians and government work together to limit the number of doctors, etc)
A good example of a national healthcare system gone wrong is South Korea. It's been reported that something close to 40% of physicians in Korea are plastic surgeons, because it doesn't make much economic sense to be a regular doctor.
The end result is worse healthcare for everyone, except those who can afford to pay for private healthcare.

That is not to say, all of the above should be abolished, but one has to recognize that free market solutions are usually cheaper, better and more adjusted to forces of supply and demand.

Taken to the extreme, government controlling 100% of economic planning, prices, and output lead to economic disasters such as Mao's China, Stalin's Russia, and Kim's North Korea.
No serious libertarian believes that government intervention should be 0% of GDP, since that would mean no military, no police, no roads, no firefighters, etc.
But the answer is probably closer to 30%, than 50-60%.

On that note, I found this link for government spending as a function of GDP.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_spending

I don't believe for one second that the Chinese government spends 24% of GDP or United Arab Emirates government 23.7% as the data say, so it seems that accuracy of this table is highly suspect.

Perhaps more interestingly, there seems to be a correlation between government spending as a % of GDP and reduction in long-term growth rate, according to OECD.
http://www.oecd.org/eco/economicoutlook.htm
http://i2.wp.com/thinkbynumbers.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Total-Government-Expenditure-as-a-Percent-of-GDP-vs-Growth-Rate.jpg?resize=1024,579

Apparently, economists call this the "Rahn Curve."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahn_curve

I've also found similar description by the name of "Armey Curve" and a related idea called Laffer curve which relates to government revenue as a function of tax rate.
Excellent post.

What they also don't want you to know is that the welfare states in europe are heading for disaster unless they reverse their socialist policies.

Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples money ...
 
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Eraserhead

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All men are created equal probably refers to equal opportunity.

Equal abilities obviously don't make any sense and wouldn't be consistent with real life.

In what world do humans have equal intellectual or physical abilities?
Equality of outcome is neither realistic nor desirable, because the only means to achieving it is by compulsory confiscation of individual property (i.e. Communism or extremely high taxation) and thus limiting individual liberty.

It's not only unrealistic to take Bill Gates' money, it's also immoral to do so.
Sadly equality of opportunity is a lie.
[doublepost=1461650611][/doublepost]
It refers to being equal before the law.
That's all.

People never had equal opportunities.
That's not how the world works.

Trying to make people equal through big government is a mental illness aka "social justice".
[doublepost=1461647273][/doublepost]Excellent post.

What they also don't want you to know is that the welfare states in europe are heading for disaster unless they reverse their socialist policies.

Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples money ...
The Republican Party in the US is about to collapse. The Koch brothers endorsing Clinton shows that.
 

SHNXX

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Sadly equality of opportunity is a lie.
[doublepost=1461650611][/doublepost]

The Republican Party in the US is about to collapse. The Koch brothers endorsing Clinton shows that.
Which specific legislation in the US disallows equal opportunity?
And I'm talking about opportunity, not outcome.

While USA is not a perfectly equal place, it is more meritocratic than probably any other country in the world, which is why the best and the brightest from all over the world have historically flocked to immigrate to US.
 
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Eraserhead

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Which specific legislation in the US disallows equal opportunity?
And I'm talking about opportunity, not outcome.
Laws allowing substantial inheritance?

While USA is not a perfectly equal place, it is more meritocratic than probably any other country in the world, which is why the best and the brightest from all over the world have historically flocked to immigrate to US.
Not true at all - http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/01/05/us/harder-for-americans-to-rise-from-lower-rungs.html
http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21595437-america-no-less-socially-mobile-it-was-generation-ago-mobility-measured
 

SHNXX

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How is that different from any other advantage someone has, such as being good looking, being smarter, stronger, more adept at speaking, etc?
In all cases, everyone starts at a different place in life.

Opportunity I'm referring to is the ability of someone extremely talented to become successful based on his own merits.

The ability of rich people to pass on their hard earned money to their children in no way limits the poor children's ability to become successful.

Multi generational poverty can be explained by a myriad of factors, such as cultural differences between wealthy and the poor, as well as genetic similarity between parents and children.
Parents who are poor because they were not educated, and made bad choices in life, tend to have children who are similar to them, due to genetic and environmental factors.

Once again, you're referring to inequality in outcome, not opportunity.
 
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Eraserhead

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How is that different from any other advantage someone has, such as being good looking, being smarter, stronger, more adept at speaking, etc?
In all cases, everyone starts at a different place in life.

Opportunity I'm referring to is the ability of someone extremely talented to become successful based on his own merits.

The ability of rich people to pass on their hard earned money to their children in no way limits the poor children's ability to become successful.
Of course it does. People who go to private schools mix with the right crowd. They get to buy property earlier and do that rather than renting etc etc.
 

SHNXX

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Of course it does. People who go to private schools mix with the right crowd. They get to buy property earlier and do that rather than renting etc etc.
Once again, equality doesn't guarantee equal outcomes.

Humans are born with very unequal abilities in unequal circumstances.
Why should the government fight such a law of nature?

If LeBron James has children who are taller, more athletic and more wealthy than 99.9999% of American children, why is this a problem that government should fix?

Parents work very hard so that their children can inherit the fruits of their labor. Why is this a bad thing?
 
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Eraserhead

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Once again, equality doesn't guarantee equal outcomes.

Humans are born with very unequal abilities in unequal circumstances.
Why should the government fight such a law of nature?

If LeBron James has children who are taller, more athletic and more wealthy than 99.9999% of American children, why is this a problem that government should fix?
I'm not talking about outcomes I'm talking about opportunities.

Plenty of poorer people are intelligent and work hard.
 

SHNXX

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I'm not talking about outcomes I'm talking about opportunities.
Please tell me what is the problem with the idea that humans are born with unequal abilities and circumstances and why the government needs to fix this law of nature.

Lions are born with unequal strengths.
Flies are born with unequal sizes.
 
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Eraserhead

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Please tell me what is the problem with the idea that humans are born with unequal abilities and circumstances and why the government needs to fix this law of nature.

Lions are born with unequal strengths.
Flies are born with unequal sizes.
There isn't anything wrong with the idea that people are born with unequal abilities. It's just that if you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth you do rather better than if you aren't.
[doublepost=1461652742][/doublepost]
Actually, the data are very very clear. IQ and income are correlated in every society.
IQ tests are written by the richer people so may well be bias towards their experiences.

There's also the problem that people with substantial mental health issues etc will likely land up poor and will therefore skew any such test.
 

SHNXX

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There isn't anything wrong with the idea that people are born with unequal abilities. It's just that if you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth you do rather better than if you aren't.
So what?
This simply reflects what happens in nature.

Some lion cubs are born under the protection of a strong father while others are brutally murdered by competing adult males.

So your solution is to steal the money from the family who worked all their life to give to their children and give it to the poor families?
 
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SHNXX

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There isn't anything wrong with the idea that people are born with unequal abilities. It's just that if you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth you do rather better than if you aren't.
[doublepost=1461652742][/doublepost]

IQ tests are written by the richer people so may well be bias towards their experiences.

There's also the problem that people with substantial mental health issues etc will likely land up poor and will therefore skew any such test.
That's interesting.
I'd like to know your explanation as to why Asians score higher on IQ test than all other ethnic groups except the Jewish and also have higher income in US than whites.

I guess it must be all that pro-Asian bias in US constitution and IQ tests, all of which were written by Asians.
 

Eraserhead

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That's interesting.
I'd like to know your explanation as to why Asians score higher on IQ test than all other ethnic groups except the Jewish and also have higher income in US than whites.

I guess it must be all that pro-Asian bias in US constitution and IQ tests, all of which were written by Asians.
Because Asians are generally better educated. It still doesn't mean IQ tests aren't bias to some degree.
[doublepost=1461653172][/doublepost]
So what?
This simply reflects what happens in nature.

Some lion cubs are born under the protection of a strong father while others are brutally murdered by competing adult males.

So your solution is to steal the money from the family who worked all their life to give to their children and give it to the poor families?
If a poor kid who has an IQ of 120 and works hard doesn't have the same chances as a rich kid who has an IQ of 120 and works hard then there is no equality of opportunity.
 

SHNXX

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Because Asians are generally better educated. It still doesn't mean IQ tests aren't bias to some degree.
[doublepost=1461653172][/doublepost]

If a poor kid who has an IQ of 120 and works hard doesn't have the same chances as a rich kid who has an IQ of 120 and works hard then there is no equality of opportunity.
IQ test doesn't test for education. Little kindergarteners are not "educated."
Have you even taken an IQ test?
It seems like you're just talking out of your behind.
In what sense is looking at a series of blocks with patterns biased? Is arithmetic biased?


Once again, you're referring to equality of outcome.
Two kids have similar abilities but different parents, and they end up in different places.
If your solution is let's steal money from the more successful provident parents, that is the definition of fascism.


Let's go back to Lebron example. Lebron has children who are gifted athletes. These kids will have privileged lives and easier time getting a shot at the NBA than other children.
Meanwhile, in other families throughout the inner city, kids with similar talent will be born into poverty, in crime laden cities, and many of them will not get a shot at getting into the NBA.

What is wrong with this picture?
Should lebron not be allowed to provide for his children?
Should the government take away all of Lebron's money, his connections, his house, his chefs, so that other kids can be more "equal"?

It's the government's job to treat people equally with respect to the law, not to ensure everyone has same starting or end point.
 
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Meister

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Sadly equality of opportunity is a lie.
[doublepost=1461650611][/doublepost]

The Republican Party in the US is about to collapse. The Koch brothers endorsing Clinton shows that.
The political landscape all over the world is changing and the gop is undergoing a well needed transformation.

The dems don't seem to be able to change fast enough and that's why they will lose the election.

As Gorbatschow once said to Honecker: "Wer zu spät kommt, den bestraft das Leben."
 

SHNXX

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The political landscape all over the world is changing and the gop is undergoing a well needed transformation.

The dems don't seem to be able to change fast enough and that's why they will lose the election.

As Gorbatschow once said to Honecker: "Wer zu spät kommt, den bestraft das Leben."
Democrats are changing too, Meister.
They're just becoming more socialist/collectivist.

Honestly, trump worries me too, because he doesn't seem to value individual liberty or free market solutions much.
 
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