Don Arthur’s Friday Missing Link

[Best blog posts of the week published each Friday NB Actual date of this post is Friday 21 October but backdated two days to avoid appearing as the first featured post – an inconveniently rigid aspect of this otherwise excellent WordPress theme.]

A winner-takes-all-society will fail: America’s top 1 per cent might have the best educations, the best doctors and the best lifestyles, but their fate is bound up with how the other 99 per cent live, writes Joe Stiglitz. Harry Clarke agrees: “the inequality threat to the survival of capitalism is crystallising into a definite focus for dissent. It will impact on Australia.”

Arguing about libertarianism: Libertarians insist their philosophy is founded on the value of liberty. But they’re wrong, says T.M. Scanlon. Scanlon leads of the Boston Review’s forum on libertarianism and liberty. Brad DeLong and Will Wilkinson respond.

A feminist spokeswoman for Generation X? Matt Honan says Generation X hasn’t had a real voice since Axl Rose got fat. Mindy says she “wouldn’t kick him out of bed, unless he was nasty to the cat.” But how about a feminist voice for Generation X, she asks. Any suggestions?

The New Atheists are nuts: The “the hostility of militant atheists to religion borders on madness”, says David Berreby.

Advertising is exploitation: When businesses like Facebook sell our personal information to third parties, “Things that we find valuable are being stripped away from us without our consent or adequate compensation”. The Philosopher’s Beard wants a new property rights regime.

The value of work: Work is about more than just income, argues Peter Shergold. So when not-for-profits look at the impact of their welfare to work programs, they should look beyond income to things like improvements in health, improved family stability, and longer term intergenerational impacts.

Why do highly educated American women have more children? According to a recent US study, there’s a U-shaped relationship between a woman’s education and her total lifetime fertility. The reason is inequality. The real incomes of low paid workers has fallen significantly since the 1970s. And as Marina Adshade explains:

This fall in wages of unskilled workers combined with an increase in the wages paid to the highly educate has meant that women with more education can now afford to buy on the market the services that other mothers (and presumably fathers) have to supply themselves.

Does inequality drive political polarisation? The correlation between the share of income earned by the top one percent and polarisation in US politics is staggering writes Erik Voeten. Voeten links to Polarized America, a new book by Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole and Howard Rosenthal.

Economists are out-blogging political scientists: Economic blogs support serious discussion about economic research. Political science blogs most just publicise political science research, argues John Sides.

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