Week 2 y'all!
Chapter 2: Equality
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité- they go well together in French, but how well do they work together in the real world? Please read the following essays and answer the discussion questions.
Essays to Read:
#1: “Income Inequality Arises From Market Forces and Requires Government Intervention.”
#3: “Equality Serves the Common Good”
#5: “Income Inequality Is the Great Economic and Moral Crisis of Our Time”
#7: “The Free Market Ignores the Poor”
#11: “Rich People Have an Obligation to Give Back”
Consider the quote on page 9, “Free people are not equal, and equal people are not free.” Excluding the case of equality before the law, please unpack this quote. How are free people not equal? How are equal people unfree?
Consider the critics of income inequality in the US. Would they prefer everyone be equally poor? Are they personally willing to become poor to make others better off? Consider the outcomes of other administrations that have tried to make everyone equal- did they make everyone equally richer, or everyone equally poor?
Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite sweet Jewish grandpa- Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders seems like the prime example of a well-meaning person who just doesn’t have the right information, but is doing the best he can with what he knows. How can we reach out to the Bernie bros in our lives, acknowledge that their concern about income inequality may come from a genuinely good place (concern for the poor), but is actually a misplaced insecurity in the knowledge that they have less than others, or that others have less than them? Is that even the case?
How do the arguments of Essay #11 support the case against equality, without being centered specifically around it? How do cultural attitudes about ‘greed’ and ‘exploitation’ shape the discourse around income inequality?
How can we talk about these ideas with our peers? What are some real life situations we can pose to them that will allow them to explore the topic logically without us thrusting the answers on them?
Click here for files if you don't have a copy of the book: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2fsb4206g-ALS1RS2JEN19tMEE