Thursday, August 31, 2006

What passes for wit on the Right

via Ezra, one Don Bourdreaux has what he thinks is a witty rejoinder to the problem of wealth inequality:
But I ask: would you prefer to live in 1967 with today’s real median household income ($46,326) or live today with 1967’s real median household income ($35,379)? (These figures are expressed in 2005 dollars, by the way.)
And then he goes on to extol the virtues of our modern living - Google features prominently.

Ezra, I think, takes him far too seriously when he writes:
Let's imagine two worlds, one in which you live in 2004 on the median salary of $46,000 a year, and the other in which you live in 2006, but median wages had kept pace with productivity post-1973 (as they did between 1947 and 1973) and you make this world's median salary: $60,000.

Which would you prefer?
Now obviously, having all the bells and whistles of modern living plus the 30% extra salary that we're owed would be grand. But even this is taking the argument too seriously.

I can think of one very, very big reason that I would prefer to live in 1967, or even 1973, than living in the current age, whatever my paycheck.

In 1973, Don Bourdreaux would have merely been the annoying kid in class who'd just read Atlas Shrugged and wouldn't stop talking about it. In 2006, he's polluting discourse with stupid fucking hypothetical questions.

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