Friday, January 14, 2011

Krugman this time gets it wrong on "Two Moralities"

In his latest op ed piece Paul Krugman argues that there is a divide of "Two Moralities": those who believe in helping the poor, and those who believe that taxation is theft. He is right about the divide but I think wrong that these are "moralities". For a start, I don't think the right wing would concede that they don't believe in helping the poor. They would say that the free market is the best way to do it, and the welfare state, contrary to intention, keeps people poor.

But more than that at issue is not really fundamentally a moral issue, but an economic one. As I argued in my earlier blog Whose money is it?, so called conservatives argue that only the person who received the money is responsible for "earning" it. But this ignores the fact that money is a social product to start with. Without the government, the money would be worthless. And there would be no educated workers to produce goods. The economic mistake leads to a moral one, but the fundamental problem is in the right wing economic analysis.

No comments:

Post a Comment