Economic professor Aaron Johnson has a thoughtful post on the need for economic mobility.
I agree that income mobility is far too low, but I wonder to what extent the drug war contributes to that. Having an arrest record and being incarcerated would seem to reduce employment opportunities and result in more single-parent households, especially since the drug war seems to be targeted at poor people.
I agree with him that we need more focused education, but most people have already served years in government schools. It seems that a more grassroots and less political approach might be more amenable. Reducing barriers to entry like occupational licensing laws could also unshackle some people from the need for wage labor and increase entrepreneurial opportunities.
The United States prides itself as being the “land of opportunity”. With the U.S. being a favored destination for immigrants across the world, that distinction still has merit. However, there are disturbing trends where many are questioning the value of capitalism due to its contribution to income inequality. Even so, we must acknowledge the role that capitalism played in lifting not only Americans out of poverty and into prosperity, but in Canada, Europe, and all parts of the world. Having said that, we must recognize that our current economic system needs to be amended to level the playing field.
Many Americans are divided on the moral implications of income redistribution. On one hand, there are those that believe that extravagant wealth is immoral and that there should be a limit on executive pay. In fact, Japan has embraced this culture and have stifled executive pay. Their executives must publicly disclose…
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