Monday, April 21, 2014

Confirmation Bias Watch

Some more Piketty fallout: Paul Krugman again bows to empirical evidence and acknowledges changing his mind:
we're rapidly moving towards a state where inherited wealth dominates. I didn't know that. I really was-- I should've known it. I should've thought about it, but I didn't. And so then here comes this book with-- I mean, it's beautiful-- absolutely analytically beautiful, if that makes any sense at all....  You suddenly say, "Oh, this is not-- the world is not the way I saw it."
(h/t Marie2 at Booman Tribune)

Meanwhile Yuval Levin is on record as having (in 2011) blamed current inequality in the United States largely on Great Society social spending in the 1960s and '70s:
Flush with revenue and stirred by the promise of technocratic mastery, our government took on immense entitlement commitments and major social reforms in that era, and these have certainly had some of their intended consequences. But they have also struck at the roots (economic and especially moral) of our ability to sustain our strength. The collapse of the family among the poor — powerfully propelled by the ethic of social democracy and by a horrendously designed welfare system that was not improved until the mid-1990s — has vastly worsened social and economic inequality in America, and the capacity of generations to rise out of poverty.
I'd say that's yet another chance for Levin to show that conservatives can be just as open-minded and ready to bend their opinions to fit the facts as liberals are. How about it, Dr. L? Anything about the Piketty-Saez data make you want to rethink your premises there?

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