Marissa Ray, Entry #5


          In his article, “Why the conservative defense of inequality makes no sense”, Ryan Cooper argues against Greg Mankiw’s assertion that the wealthy deserve their money by saying that Mankiw’s logic is faulty because it implies that the poor deserve to be poor. While I agree with Cooper in the sense that the ‘just deserts’ concept of economic distribution does not apply because it does not apply to everyone, the logic that Cooper uses to ‘validate’ his own argument is completely beside the point. In his article, Cooper references the “Solow residual” to make the point that none of the wealth that big business owners, like Steve Jobs, have accumulated actually belongs to them because their products were based of of the research and discoveries made by others. This argument might make sense if one did not take into account that America has a capitalist economy. However, our economy is based on competition, so Cooper’s logic does not follow, especially because he goes on to bring in the creation of the English language and being able to repay the ‘debt of motherhood”. But as much as Cooper’s reasoning in his argument against Mankiw’s assertion is faulty, I must agree with Cooper’s ultimate point: that the ‘just desserts” method of justifying the distribution of wealth in the country is faulty because it implies that the poorer deserve to be poor. The inequality in the distribution of wealth should not be justified, politicians should focus on endeavoring to close the gap between the wealthy and the poor rather than trying to justify it.


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