(Note: we are saying the facts are little tramps, not McArdle. As we all know she couldn't possibly be a whore who would sell out her fellow countrymen for a high-priced cocktail and taxi fare because whores are poor and McArdle is not.)
But we digress. Now that Brooks has led the way, McArdle tells us that the Blue Staters are fooling themselves when they think income inequality is a big problem, for Blue inequality is just fine and proper while Red inequality is the real problem.
The Great Work DivideWe are supposed to believe that executives no longer have perks, after McArdle defended tax breaks for executive jets. She lies like she breathes--badly.
Business Nov 22 2011, 11:01 AM ET 54
Reihan Salam has an interesting post on income inequality in which he notes that executives of days past used to consume a lot more of their "income inequality" in the form of corporate perks. Salam attributes this to the fact that there was more within-firm skill inequality; I'd chalk it up more to the tax code, which in 1986 was changed in various ways that made it much more attractive to pay your employees in salary, and much less attractive to pay them in the form of lavish expense accounts and magnificent private office space. The notion of an executive washroom with its own special key now seems mostly ludicrous, but it was an actual thing--and I'm not sure that giving executives special bathrooms is actually noticeably less corrosive to social cohesion and personal happiness than giving them fatter pay packets.
This particular passage struck a nerve with me:McArdle took Brooks' ball and ran with it. It's not that income inequality is high, it's just that education inequality is high. And we all know that education inequality is due to laziness and immorality. Just stay in school, don't have kids, work hard, and you too will become a corporate CEO!
In a sense, the sorting mechanism at firms like Apple happens before you join the firm: its employees are homogeneously high-skilled, now that manufacturing, etc., has been off-shored. So while a firm like Pepsi might have had a range of employees at different skill levels, that is somewhat less true of the iconic technology firms of our own era.
It suddenly occurred to me that this is a standard feature of the work lives of blue state elites: almost all of their contact is with people just like them. Same education, usually the same few states of origin, and a pretty uniformly shared set of values about what work is for and how it should be done.
These people tend to vote Democratic. Small-business owners, who work in much more diverse environments, tend to vote Republican. I'm not going to speculate on why this might be so--but I suspect that it matters.All liberals are elites who live in blue states, work with people educated at elite institutions, and have elite jobs. They don't run businesses and aren't poor or Black or Hispanic or old or female. They are elites, except when they are not. Therefore any liberal who is concerned about income inequality is just being jealous of his more successful elite bretheren.
Where would we be without Megan McArdle to think for us, and David Brooks to think for Megan McArdle?