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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/10/17

Why Not Make the Rich Compete?

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We can also use the market to subject doctors (average annual pay of around $250,000) to competition, both reducing the income of many one and two percenters, and reducing health care costs for the rest of us, thereby raising real wages. The same is true for dentists, and to a lesser extent lawyers, all of whom tend to occupy the bottom rungs of the one percent and the next one to two percentiles of the income distribution.

There are many other areas where we could envision a different structuring of the market that results in a more equal distribution of income. Teles and Lindsey approach the issue from a perspective broadly similar to mine, even if we have different emphases and don't come down in the same place on some issues. (For example, I think restructuring corporate governance rules to make it easier for shareholders to rein in CEO pay is a big deal.)

To me, the main takeaway is that we have to figure out how we can structure the market so it leads to more equalitarian outcomes. The Right has been doing the opposite with enormous success for the last four decades. At the very least, we force the Right onto indefensible intellectual ground when we oblige them to argue for government intervention to make the rich richer, even at the cost of sacrificing growth.

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Dr. Dean Baker is a macroeconomist and Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. (more...)
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