The Plank

Kicking Up Sand

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Supply-side propagandist Larry Kudlow urges his readers to ignore "all the nonsense about wage inequality--a subject that the brilliant Washington economist Alan Reynolds has debunked voluminously." Matthew Yglesias points out that "one can hardly debunk a subject."

He's right, but I don't think this is just sloppy phrasing on Kudlow's part. This is Alan Reynolds' purpose in life -- he assures conservatives that the subject of income inequality is something they need not pay attention to at all.

Meanwhile, I see that National Review Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru, who is vastly smarter than Kudlow, touches on income inequality in his current cover story, which I could not find online. Ponnuru does not deny that inequality is growing, but simply maintains that it doesn't matter. "[I]nequality should matter only if it reaches the point where it threatens popular support for a market economy," he writes, in an argument that's honest though not to my taste.

--Jonathan Chait

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