Income Disparities Topic Analysis Available

The topic analysis book for the 2011/2012 November/December resolution is now available in the Victory Briefs Store.
2011/2012 December PF Topic: Income Disparities

You can also purchase the book after the jump.

About the Product

Author(s) and/or Contributor(s): Jessica Bailey, Ben Lewis, Bill Neesen, Adam Torson
Description: This book contains topic analysis essays that discuss important interpretations of the resolution and major Pro and Con positions, and evidence for both sides.

File Index
TABLE OF CONTENTS 2
TOPIC ANALYSIS BY JESSICA BAILEY 6
TOPIC ANALYSIS BY BEN LEWIS 15
TOPIC ANALYSIS BY BILL NEESEN 24
TOPIC ANALYSIS BY ADAM TORSON 32
FRAMEWORK EVIDENCE 43
INCOME INEQUALITY IS INCREASING BOTH QUANTITATIVELY AND QUALITATIVELY 43
ECONOMIC INEQUALITY IS PARTICULARLY PRONOUNCED BETWEEN RACIAL AND ETHNIC GROUPS 44
INCOME INEQUALITY IS NOT THE SAME AS GENERAL ECONOMIC INEQUALITY, AND THE FORMER HAS BECOME MARKEDLY MORE STRATIFIED 45
THIRD WAVE DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENTS COINCIDED WITH THE ASCENDANCE OF NEOLIBERAL ECONOMICS AND SO FOCUSED LESS ON ECONOMIC INEQUALITY 46
NEOLIBERAL ECONOMICS HAS A GREATER TOLERANCE FOR INEQUALITY 47
FEW PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT EITHER TRUE LAISSEZ FAIRE OR THE PURSUIT OF TOTAL EQUALITY ARE DESIRABLE POLICY OBJECTIVES 48
THERE ARE A WIDE VARIETY OF ECONOMIC DISTRIBUTION PATTERNS AMONG CAPITALIST NATIONS 49
AFFIRMATIVE EVIDENCE 50
INCOME INEQUALITY GIVES A DISPROPORTIONATE POLITICAL VOICE TO THE RICH 50
THE WEALTHY HAVE DISPROPORTIONATE POLITICAL POWER BECAUSE THEY VOTE AND DONATE SUBSTANTIAL SUMS OF MONEY, AND BECAUSE MANY ELECTED LEADERS ARE WEALTHY 51
WITH THE DECLINE OF UNIONS AND THE INCREASINGLY EFFECTIVE INFLUENCE OF BUSINESS INTERESTS, POLITICAL POWER IS LIKELY TO CONCENTRATE IN THE HANDS OF THE RICH 52
INCOME INEQUALITY UNDERMINES FORMAL POLITICAL EQUALITY 53
THE WEALTHY HAVE DISPROPORTIONATE POLITICAL POWER 54
LESS AFFLUENT AMERICANS TEND TO ENGAGE IN LESS POLITICAL PARTICIPATION 55
DONATIONS TO POLITICAL CANDIDATES AND PARTIES IS A FORM OF PARTICIPATION ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY PRACTICED BY THE WEALTHY 56
PROGRAMS DESIGNED TO REDRESS ECONOMIC INEQUALITY HAVE HISTORICALLY IMPROVED POLITICAL PARTICIPATION 57
MANY CONTEMPORARY LIBERALS DEFEND SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS DESIGNED TO EMPOWER THE ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED 58
IT IS MORALLY ARBITRARY TO ALLOW SOCIAL GOODS TO BE DISTRIBUTED BY THOSE ARRANGEMENTS ARISING SPONTANEOUSLY THROUGH THE EXERCISE OF OUR NATURAL LIBERTIES 59
LIBERAL ATTEMPTS TO SECURE EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY AND SO GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY ‘DESERVE’ STILL FALL VICTIM TO MORAL ARBITRARINESS 60
JUSTICE REQUIRES REDRESSING ARBITRARY INEQUALITY 61
THE NATURAL DISTRIBUTION OF TALENT IS NEITHER JUST NOR UNJUST; HOW INSTITUTIONS DEAL WITH IT IS 62
POSSESSING CHARACTER IS MORALLY ARBITRARY; IT CANNOT JUSTIFY SUPERIOR ENTITLEMENTS 63
THE EXERCISE OF VIRTUES LIKE EFFORT IS A MORALLY ARBITRARY ENDOWMENT AND SO CANNOT CREATE A JUST ENTITLMENT 64
THE ABSENSE OF INDIVIDUAL DESERT CREATES A PRESUMPTION IN FAVOR OF REGARDING TALENTS AS A COMMON ASSET 65
INCOME INEQUALITY UNDERMINES THE BASIC POLITICAL VALUE OF FAIRNESS 66
ECONOMIC INEQUALITY UNDERMINES COMMUNITY SOLIDARITY 67
ECONOMIC STRATIFICATION CAN UNDERMINE SOCIAL COHESION 68
PUBLIC PROGRAMS TO HELP ALLEVIATE INEQUALITY SOLIDIFY COMMUNITY SOLIDARITY 69
GOVERNMENT ACTIONS SYMBOLICALLY AFFIRM THE VALUES OF SOLIDARITY AND HUMAN DIGNITY 70
VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS TO HELP ALLEVIATE INEQUALITY ARE INSUFFICIENT TO SYMBOLICALLY EXPRESS THE VALUE OF COMMUNITY SOLIDARITY 71
THE SUPER-RICH ARE UNLIKELY TO SUPPORT SPENDING FOR THE COMMON GOOD 72
CONCENTRATION OF WEALTH UNDERMINES COLLECTIVE ACTION FOR THE COMMON GOOD 73
ECONOMIC INEQUALITY HAS SUBSTANTIAL SOCIAL COSTS 74
ECONOMIC INEQUALITY PREVENTS SOCIAL COOPERATION TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT 75
THE CHOICES PEOPLE MAKE IN THE FREE MARKET ARE NOT ALWAYS FREE 76
THE BELIEF THAT THE WEALTHY ARE MORE PRODUCTIVE FOR SOCIETY IS UNTRUE 77
IF ALL WE CARE ABOUT IS THE SIZE OF THE ECONOMY RATHER THAN INCOME DISTRIBUTION, WE CREATE ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL DISTORTIONS THAT ARE DAMAGING IN THE LONG RUN 78
CONCENTRATION OF WEALTH AMONG THE TOP 1% IS LARGELY DUE TO GOVERNMENT MANIPULATION 79
INEQUALITY IS BAD FOR ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY BECAUSE IT UNDERMINES COOPERATION BETWEEN CAPITAL AND LABOR 80
AMERICANS FAIL TO ADVOCATE FOR MORE ECONOMIC EQUALITY BECAUSE THEY MISPERCEIVE EXISTING WEALTH DISPARITIES AND OVERESTIMATE SOCIAL MOBILITY 81
SOCIAL MOBILITY WOULD MITIGATE CONCERNS ABOUT INCOME INEQUALITY, BUT WE FAIL TO TAKE ADEQUATE MEASURES TO ASSURE SUCH MOBILITY 82
SOCIAL MOBILITY IS HAMPERED BY THE CONCENTRATION OF WEALTH AND POWER, FOR EXAMPLE BY THE REDUCTION OR ELIMINATION OF THE ESTATE TAX 83
A VARIETY OF INCOME DISTRIBUTION PROGRAMS HELP TO BOLSTER THE MIDDLE CLASS AND THUS IMPROVE SOCIAL MOBILITY 84
LACK OF SOCIAL MOBILITY DRIVES THE PUSH FOR SOCIAL PROGRAMS TO ENSURE EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY 85
THERE ARE A VARIETY OF POLICY OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO REDRESS INCOME INEQUAILTY 86
ECONOMIC INEQUALITY IS AT AN ALL TIME HIGH, THOUGH PEOPLE DISAGREE ON WHAT THE IDEAL WEALTH DISTRIBUTION IS 87
WITHOUT KNOWING THEIR PLACE IN SOCIETY, PEOPLE TEND TO PREFER A WEALTH DISTRIBUTION THAT IS MUCH MORE EGALITARIAN THAN THE UNITED STATES 88
PEOPLE UNDERESTIMATE THE WEALTH GAP IN THE UNITED STATES AND WOULD DESIGN A MORE EGALITARIAN SOCIETY 89
DESPITE SOME DIFFERENCES IN DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS, THERE IS WIDE CONSENSUS THAT SOCIETY SHOULD BE MORE EGALITARIAN BUT THAT SOME INEQUALITY IS APPROPRIATE 90
BECAUSE WEALTH HAS DECREASING MARGINAL UTILITY, MORE EGALITARIAN DISTRIBUTIONS WILL INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF AGGREGATE HAPPINESS 91
THERE IS DRAMATIC AND PROGRESSIVE INCOME INEQUALITY IN THE UNITED STATES 92
NEGATIVE EVIDENCE 93
WE NATURALLY BENEFIT FROM THE UNEQUAL ENDOWMENTS OF NATURE; IT IS NOT GOVERNMENT’S JOB TO TRY TO ‘FIX’ THEM 93
A FREE MARKET SYSTEM RESPECTS THE FACT THAT PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR CHOICES 94
EXTENDED SOCIETY CANNOT BE CENTRALLY PLANNED 95
PRIVATE PROPERTY FACILITATES COORDINATION IN A SOCIETY WHERE EACH OF US ONLY HAS PARTIAL KNOWLEDGE, AND THUS FACILITATES SERVING THE NEEDS OF DISTANT OTHERS 96
OUR INSTINCTUAL ALTRUISM ACTUALLY HARMS THOSE IN NEED 97
EFFICIENT MARKETS MAKE EVERYONE BETTER OFF 98
CENTRAL PLANNING IS BOUND TO FAIL 99
SOME UTILITARIANS OBJECT TO REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH ON THE GROUNDS THAT IT DISINCENTIVES PRODUCTIVITY 100
DEVELOPED DEMOCRACIES ARE FACING A CRISIS IN THE LONG-TERM FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY OF SOCIAL PROGRAMS 101
INCREASING ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY IN CONSUMER GOODS MARKETS HAS BENEFITED LESS AFFLUENT AMERICANS MORE THAN THE RICH 102
ECONOMIC INEQUALITY HAS BEEN DRIVEN BY GROWTH IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR, NOT MARKET FAILURE 103
TRANSFERING WEALTH HAS SUBSTANTIAL TRANSACTION COSTS 104
A PROGRESSIVE INCOME TAX CREATES COMPLEXITY BECAUSE OF PRIVATE TAX EVASION STRATEGIES 105
FLAT TAXES REMOVE THE IMPRECISION IN DECIDING HOW STEEPLY PROGRESSIVE THE INCOME TAX SHOULD BE 106
HIGH TAX RATES KILL ECONOMIC GROWTH 107
IN A COMPLICATED TAX SYSTEM DEISGNED TO REDISTRIBUTE WEALTH, THE AFFLUENT ARE ABLE TO EMPLOY SOPHISTICATED TAX AVOIDANCE STRATEGIES 108
REDISTRIBUTIVE TAX SYSTEMS CAN BE UNDERMINED WHEN SYSTEMIC INEFFICIENCIES COMPROMISE THE TAX BASE ON WHICH THE SYSTEM DEPENDS 109
THE THEORETICAL BASIS OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY REQUIRES PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT TO PROPERTY 110
LIBERTARIANS OBJECT TO REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH ON THE GROUNDS THAT DOING SO VIOLATES A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO LIBERTY 111
LIBERTARIANS OPPOSE REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH OR INCOME IN ANY FORM 112
LIBERTARIANS ARGUE THAT THERE IS NOTHING INHERENTLY WRONG WITH ECONOMIC INEQUALITY SO LONG AS WEALTH IS PROCURED LEGITIMATELY 113
ONE IS ENTITLED TO PROPERTY IF IT WAS JUSTLY OBTAINED AND JUSTLY TRANSFERRED 114
TRYING TO CONSTRUCT A PARTICULAR PATTERN OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF GOODS FAILES TO REALIZE THE HISTORICAL CHARACTER OF ENTITLEMENTS 115
OUR INTUITIONS TELL US THAT PEOPLE ARE ENTITLED TO WHAT THEY EARN THROUGH FAIR TRANSFERS 116
DISTRIBUTING RESOURCES TO ATTEMPT TO ACHIEVE SOME DESIRABLE PATTERN REQUIRES CONSTANT REGULATION OF PEOPLE’S CHOICES 117
TAXATION IS ON PAR WITH FORCED LABOR 118
IT IS ILLEGITIMATE TO SEIZE A PERSON’S PROPERTY TO HELP THE NEEDY 119
REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH IS THE EQUIVALENT OF GIVING PEOPLE A PROPERTY RIGHT IN EACH OTHER’S LABOR 120
TO CLAIM THAT ALL ENTITLEMENTS ARE MORALLY ARBITRARY UNDERMINES HUMAN WORTH 121
REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH THINKS OF PEOPLES’ NATURAL ABILITIES AS THE COMMON ASSETS OF THE COMMUNITY 122
THE ARBITRARINESS OF NATURAL ENDOWMENTS DOES NOT LOGICALLY IMPLY THAT THESE ENDOWMENTS ARE COMMUNAL PROPERTY 123
SOCIAL PROGRAMES THAT REDISTRIBUTE WEALTH ARE OFTEN OPPOSED ON GROUNDS THAT THEY FOSTER DEPENDENCE ON THE STATE 124
ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS CAUSE UNSUSTAINABLE POLITICAL PATRONAGE 125
PICKETT AND WILKINSON’S STUDY OF ECONOMIC INEQUALITY HAS SERIOUS METHODOLOGICAL PROBLEMS 126
SINGLE TIME-POINT INDICATORS OF INEQUALITY FAIL TO CAPTURE SOCIAL MOBILITY ACROSS GENERATIONS 127
INCOME GAINS HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN SHARED MUCH MORE EQUALLY THAN MANY BELIEVE 128
AFTER APPROPRIATE STATISTICAL ADJUSTMENT, STUDIES SHOW MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME HAS GONE UP SUBSTANTIALLY 129
MEASURES OF INCOME INEQUALITY FAIL TO CAPTURE THE INCREASING VALUE OF GOVERNMENT SERVICES AND BENEFICIAL TAX TREATMENT 130
IN THE LAST FEW DECADES QUALITY OF LIFE HAS IMPROVED SUBSTANTIALLY FOR ALL AMERICANS 131
INEQUALITY IN WELLBEING IS SHARPLY DOWN IN THE LAST CENTURY, EVEN IF ECONOMIC INEQUALITY IS GOING UP 132
DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE ACCOUNTS FOR MORE ECONOMIC INEQUALITY 133
INCOME INEQUALITY OUTSIDE THE TOP 1% HAS NOT RISEN DRAMATICALLY, AND GROWTH IN THE TOP 1% IS MOSTLY TIED TO PERFORMANCE PAY 134
INCOME INEQUALITY IS DRAMATICALLY INFLATED BY THE EVOLVING TAX TREATMENT OF CERTAIN KINDS OF WEALTH 135
STATISTICS SHOWING INCREASED INCOME INEQUALITY ARE DISTORTED BY THE FACT THAT DECREASED MARGINAL TAX RATES IN RECENT YEARS HAVE CAUSED THE WEALTHY TO REPORT MORE INCOME THAN THEY OTHERWISE WOULD 136
EVIDENCE SUGGESTING INCREASING INCOME INEQUALITY IS INCONSISTENT WITH MOST DATA 137
EVIDENCE FOR INCREASING INCOME INEQUALITY HAS BEEN SUBSTANTIALLY DISTORTED 138
NEW POVERTY METRICS ARE HUGELY DISTORTED 139
WE ARE LESS CONCERNED WITH ECONOMIC INEQALITY AS SUCH THAN WE ARE THAT THE SYSTEM ALLOWS SOME PEOPLE TO GET RICH UNDESERVEDLY 140
EMBRACING FAMILY VALUES CAUSE ECONOMIC CHOICES WHICH EXACERBATE INEQUALITY BUT WHICH ARE NONETHELESS MORALLY PRAISEWORTHY 141

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