Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Twitter censors archaic opinions

It is popular to complain about economic inequality, but it is also obvious that inequality is necessary for any modern civilized society. It is not so obvious how much inequality is needed, or whether we have enuf or too much today. I assume that economists have studied this, but I do not know what they have found.

Here is an inequality defender:

In their sights is Paul Graham, one of the giants of Silicon Valley start-ups and one of the most thoughtful and impressive men in the tech industry. Graham co-founded Y Combinator, widely regarded as the most prestigious and effective accelerator for fledgling tech companies. It has invested in over 940 companies, including Reddit, Dropbox, and Airbnb.

The controversy began when Graham, who is popular essayist in his spare time, published a long defence of economic inequality on his website. In it, he made the reasonable point that inequality is a fundamental necessity to a successful culture of entrepreneurship.

“Almost by definition, if a startup succeeds its founders become rich,” wrote Graham. “And while getting rich is not the only goal of most startup founders, few would do it if one couldn’t. So when I hear people saying that economic inequality is bad and should be decreased, I feel rather like a wild animal overhearing a conversation between hunters.”

How often does a Powerball winner make good use of the money?

Twitter is censoring those who criticize social justice warriors. Their definitions of hate speech are getting stricter and stricter:
Michael Moritz, the chairman of Sequoia Capital and one of the most successful investors in Silicon Valley history, has amended his televised remarks on the lack of women partners at his firm.

Discussing the topic on Bloomberg TV’s Studio 1.0, Moritz said, “We look very hard. What we’re not prepared to do is to lower our standards. But if there are fabulously bright, driven women who are really interested in technology, very hungry to succeed, and can meet our performance standards, we’d hire them all day and night.”

That comment, televised on Wednesday night, was met with outrage on Twitter, where people condemned Moritz for archaic thinking and for not working hard enough to attract a diverse partnership.
Really? Refusing to lower standards is archaic?

Atlantic mag has an inequality complaint:
The main reason it’ll fall short, though—the reason that that remaining one-quarter of benefits hasn’t yet materialized—is that the method of funding for Social Security was calibrated to an America with much less inequality than the nation currently has.

Since the late ‘70s, most of the growth in workers’ earnings has gone to the people who have made the most money. To be precise, the wages of the top 1 percent of workers have grown 138 percent since 1979, while the wages for the bottom 90 percent grew only 15 percent during that period.

If all of that income growth were taxed evenly, Social Security would have no shortfall. But it’s not taxed evenly: Any dollar that an American earns beyond $118,500 is, under current laws, not subject to Social Security taxes. In other words, someone who makes $118,500 this year is going to pay the same amount in Social Security taxes as someone who makes $4 million this year.

For most people, this doesn’t really matter: Less than six percent of wage-earners last year took home more than $120,000. But because lots of the last three decades’ earnings growth has been in the realm beyond $118,500 a year, much of it has escaped Social Security taxes.
No, this is just a weak attempt at class warfare. The Social Security system pays benefits in proportion to taxes received. It does tax high wages and does not pay high benefits. The rich are left to fund their own retirement, if they want more. The SS system does not care if someone makes $200k a year or $2M a year, no one needed to make a judgment about how rich the rich would be.

No comments: