EppsNet Archive: Inequality

What Can USC Students Tell Us About Inequality?

Well, according to the New York Times, some USC students jet to Bali for spring break, while some of their classmates work overnight shifts to pay for books! Instead of inequality, think of it as diversity. So now it’s a good thing! The Times for some reason writes USC as U.S.C., even though nobody does that. I’ve noticed the Times always measures life outcomes in terms of money, like that’s the only possible criterion. What ‘s so great about jetting to Bali anyway? What are you going to do, lay on a fucking beach? There are 50 beaches within two hours of USC. It’s the same sun up in the sky. You’re the same person with the same problems in Bali as you are here. You jet to Bali, you jet home, absolute waste of time. Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Inequality = Bad?

I’m volunteering a couple mornings a week in a high school computer science class . . . “Why don’t schools and classes have sponsors?” I ask one of the teachers. “When my kid was in school, they were always complaining about not having enough money. So why couldn’t you, for example, come in and say, ‘Hey kids, before you come to 1st period, make sure you have a good breakfast at McDonald’s. I’m lovin’ it!’? “And McDonald’s pays you 100 grand or whatever to say that.” “My concern,” he says, “is that would lead to more inequality in education.” I’m not sure he really thought that through. It seems more like a mechanical response to an abstract notion, i.e., “Inequality is bad.” As a parent, I always supported inequality in education. I wanted my kid to get the best possible education, better than most other kids. As a classroom volunteer,… Read more →

A Joke About Inequality

Igor and Boris are dirt-poor peasants in the Soviet Union (it’s an old joke), barely scratching enough crops from their small plots of land to feed their families. The only difference between them is that Boris owns a scrawny goat. One day a genie appears to Igor and grants him a wish. Igor says, “I wish that Boris’s goat should die.” Read more →

I Think the NFL is Shooting Itself in the Nuts

I think the NFL is shooting itself in the nuts with these anthem protests . . . One of the things I thought was problematic with the original Kaepernick protests is that they were inarticulate. He was protesting (I think) police treatment of black citizens but what does that have to do with kneeling for the national anthem at a football game? If he were leading a demonstration in front of police headquarters, there wouldn’t be any ambiguity about the purpose of the protest. But kneeling for the anthem at a football game? There’s no obvious connection. It requires an explanation. So people are free to supply their own explanation, like “They’re protesting the anthem,” “They’re desecrating the flag,” “They’re disrespecting our men and women in uniform.” And once they’ve supplied their own explanation, they can get angry at the NFL about it. The NFL is now trying to dumb… Read more →

Who Will Be America’s America?

And do not forget that nearly all of the countless 20th-century innovations and industries that made the rest of the developed world so efficient and comfortable came from America, and it wasn’t a coincidence. As long as Europe had America taking risks, investing ambitiously, and yes, being “inequal,” it had the luxury of benefiting from the results without making the same sacrifices. Who will be America’s America? — Garry Kasparov Read more →

Success is Not (All) About Money

But I think American liberals have also made the mistake of focusing too much on income and wealth as the measures of success. Every chart and graph we see about America’s increase in “inequality” is about either money, or the likelihood of getting money. Sure, disparities of wealth are distasteful. Sure, money is one thing that confers social status. But by focusing on it obsessively, I think liberals are helping to cement its paramount importance as the end-all and be-all of social outcomes. — Noah Smith Related links Redistribute wealth? No, redistribute respect. (noahpinionblog.blogspot.com) Read more →