June 09, 2014

Do not let the very natural splendors of richness distract from the very unnatural causes of unequal richness.

Sir I refer to Lawrence Summers’ “The rich have advantages that money cannot buy” May 9. 

In it Summers writes “In areas ranging from local zoning laws to intellectual property protection, from financial regulations to energy subsidies, public policy now bestows great fortunes on those who primary skill is working the political system rather than producing great products and services. There is a compelling case for policy measures to reduce profits from such rent-seeking activities…”.

Indeed that is the most important task at hand, and nothing should distract our attention from it.

For instance the fact that “the average affluent child now receives 6.000 hours of extracurricular education, more than the average poor child”… has absolutely nothing to do with the challenges at hand… but neither do I think that similar activities is what Summers now suggests we give the less fortunate ones to support their education… and this even though they might be much more motivated receiving it.