Friday, October 10, 2008

Stealing from Each Other


Stealing from Each Other by Edgar K. Browning is an excellent economics book. In the first chapter Mr. Browning quotes Aaron Wildavsky,

"I believe that rising egalitarianism will lower our standard of living, decrease our health, debase public discourse, lower the quality of public officials, weaken democracy, make people more suspicious of one another, and (if it is possible) worse. Worse is the constant denigration of American life - our polity,economy, and society - with no viable alternative to take its place."

The rest of the book proves Mr. Wildavsky's words. Along the way, Mr. Browning explains many terms and how things work, such as how the poverty level is calculated, how incomes work in a free market, what redistributive (transfer) policies do and the cost of them, and the reduction of GDP by about 25% because of Social Security, federal income tax, and various subsidies.

Mr. Browning is firm in his belief that egalitarianism is not a good thing, and that government transfer policies are just a fancy way of stealing. And stealing is wrong. However, he is not a heartless man either and states that he "would not wish to live in a society that did nothing to provide for our neediest fellow citizens... . "

His proposed solution is to get the federal government out of the business of redistributing income and restrict it to its traditional (and constitutional) functions. Instead, state and local governments, and charitable groups can do a better job of helping those in need.

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4 Comments:

Blogger SmallWorld at Home said...

oh, thanks for the recipe sites! I haven't visited any of those, so maybe I'll find something new and exciting!

2:49 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Hmmmm... sounds like an interesting read. I'm gonna have to take a look at that one.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Hi again - I notice this book is a bit pricey. Do you think it's worth it's amazon price tag? Thanks.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Tammy, I'm hoping the price will come down - so it's on my Amazon wish list and my PaperBackSwap wish list.

I may end up looking at one of the larger local bookstores and seeing if I can get it at a discount there.

I do think it's worth the price, because I'll have my children read it, too, and probably share it with my parents.

It's easy enough for the jumior high and senior high kids to read and understand.

2:43 PM  

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