2013 January 26 Saturday
Is Inequality Holding Back Economic Recovery?

Left-leaning economist Joseph Stiglitz has an opinion piece in the New York Times: Inequality Is Holding Back the Recovery.

You might scoff at this argument. But it just dawned on me: He's right at a very high level. What holds us back? An unfair inequality of ability. We have a small number of people who have very high IQs and a very large number of people with much lower IQs. This inequality of ability is holding back recovery. If everyone had, say, a 140 IQ our economy would be humming along. So many people would be making scientific discoveries and coming up with great technical innovations that the economy would be growing like a bad out of hell.

So I have a complaint for Barack Obama: Why haven't you closed the IQ gap by boosting everyone up to 140 IQ? Why are you letting people be held back by a lack of ability? Why haven't you designed an educational program that boosts the IQ of everyone? Surely you don't believe these people with lower IQs are that way do to innate abilities. So surely you must know a way to boost everyone's ability. So do it. End the inequality of ability. How can you tolerate it?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2013 January 26 12:47 PM 

bbartlog said at January 26, 2013 3:43 PM:

He's probably right in a strictly numerical sense, too. It is probable that money in the hands of the poor experiences higher velocity (in the Keynesian sense) than that held by the wealthy; the poor, after all, spend it right away. So transferring wealth from rich to poor would increase GDP. To those paying attention this is mainly yet another argument against idolizing GDP as something that should be maximized at all costs, but of course there are plenty of GDP fetishists who will take this as a compelling rationale for redistribution.

John said at January 27, 2013 8:51 AM:

It's unfortunate IQ is over 50% heritable... onward genetic engineering!

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