New York Times Reports

Both Robert and Jacob brought to my attention this article in the New York Times.
The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest

Jacob responds here:

Robert would challenge Jacob’s assertion:
“Let’s assume that everyone saves $10,000 out of his $40,000 income. Everyone puts his $10,000 into the bank. The banks lend all those savings to companies, which use the money to invest in better tools and equipment. Those tools and equipment make workers more productive. More productivity means higher profits for the firms. Higher profits lead to higher wages.”

by saying something like:
— More productivity means higher profits for the firms. Due to greater market power and greater political influence causing a rigged economic system, the wealthy keep a greater portion of the higher profits, and thus income inequality increases –.

Jacob also says:
“the government, through the income tax and IRS, seizes the $10,000 that people would have put into savings. Thus, those savings never get put into the bank, which means that they’re not available for companies to borrow, which means that better tools and equipment don’t come into existence, which means that firms don’t become more productive, which means that real wage rates don’t rise.”

Robert would say something like:
— The Federal Reserve puts money in the banks so there is no shortage of investment capital for firms to borrow for better tools and equipment – interest rates are now very low, and inflation (as measured by the Federal Reserve) has not reached their target value. —

Robert would say that income inequality is bad because
(1.) It is unfair.
(2.) It is politically unstable. The masses will eventually revolt, so it is in the best interest of the rich to use their political power to raise taxes for redistributing their wealth because if they don’t, due to envy and/or desperation, the masses will take it.

Lets Keep the Scope of Libertarianism Simple

Recently Sheldon Richman has been musing about what libertarians should be concerned about.

Two essays reflect his discussion:

He seems to be addressing some of the issues discussed at:

We should refrain from these efforts to complicate what it means to be a libertarian.

Both Sheldon and the Bleeding Heart Libertarians are correct in wanting people to consider moral positions that may not be derivable from the Non-Aggression Principle. But rather than attempting to expand the definition of libertarian,  they should consider that ones philosophical system can have more than one principle.

Just as Euclidian geometry has more than one axiom, a philosophical system can have multiple axioms or principles. They do not all have to be derivable from one source.

No matter what we would like to be true, the way the world works is “Might makes Right”. By “right” I mean actions/possessions that people can do/keep without others interfering.

As libertarians, we are trying to gain the “might” by convincing enough people that the NAP is the best way to base how people deal with each other. That’s why I prefer referring to the NAP as the Non-Aggression Axiom. As an axiom, it does not have to be proven or justified, rather it just has to be assumed and followed.

One of the differences between libertarians and Objectivists is that that libertarians don’t care how people decide to follow the NAP – for example, whether through reason or because God said so are both okay.

I recommend that we consider as libertarians everyone who wants a governmental system based on the NAP,  and derive terminology for those who who have a cluster of principles that include the NAP as a separate entity.

While one may consider, that one category is a subset of another, it is simpler to consider each principle or category as independent.