Missing Link Friday – Lies, liberty and inequality

[Don Arthur’s themed weekly roundup of the best of the blogosphere]

Un-occupy: Nearly 70 students walked out of Greg Mankiw’s economics class at Harvard on Wednesday afternoon. According to the Harvard Crimson’s Jose Delreal, “The walkout was meant to be a show of support for the ‘Occupy’ movement’s principal criticism that conservative economic policies have increased income inequality in the United States.” Sinclair Davidson comments.

What did they miss? “Ironically, the topic for today’s lecture is the distribution of income, including the growing gap between the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent”, writes Greg Mankiw.

Are you in Australia’s top 1 percent? “According to the ATO’s tax statistics, if you earned $248 192 or more in 2008-09, you were part of the top 1%”, writes Matt Cowgill.

Conservatives and freedom: “The Tea Party alliance between libertarians and conservatives gives the misleading impression that conservatives care about individual freedom”, writes the Philosopher’s Beard.

Why Will Wilkinson isn’t a liberal: “I’ve come to accept … that diffuse cultural forces, such as racism or sexism or nationalism or intergenerational poverty, can deprive an individual of her rightful liberty without any single person doing anything to violate her basic rights. This takes me a long way toward standard liberalism. But I find that my gut nevertheless leans right on issues of personal responsibility.” Will Wilkinson at the Moral Sciences Club.

Keeping the state out of your bedroom: Libertarians say they want to keep the state out of your bedroom. John Quiggin doesn’t believe them.

Lying to ourselves: According to psychologists, “self-deception evolved so that we can effortlessly tell lies without getting caught.” And that’s a good thing, says Chris Campbell.

Tim Blair on vegetarianism : Back in 2008 Tim Blair linked to a story claiming “Scientists have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain – with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage.” Sandy Szwarc wasn’t convinced.

Scientists explain Tim Blair: “You would think we would admire do-gooders who are truly motivated by morals, values and beliefs. But you would be wrong. Recent research compares the attitudes of meat eaters to vegetarians. Meat eaters don’t really like vegetarians. We think they judge us. So we make fun of them.” Rita Handrich, The Jury Room.

Irrationality virus spreads to Australia: The Australian conservative movement is becoming infected by an irrationality virus, writes Harry Clarke. It’s “a development which threatens both its intellectual viability and our future.”


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