Arnold Kling  

Brink Lindsey, in case you missed it

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Bryan's comments on Brink Lindsey's new book are valuable.

I am just annoyed that nobody seems to have noticed my own review.


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COMMENTS (3 to date)
MG writes:

Arnold, for what it is worth, I think both reviews are more than worth noticing. Bryan's was more prosecutorially thorough, and has convinced me to close my mind (and wallet) to Lindsey's book (and feel none the worse for it). Yours, must be noted if only for two gems that may have little to do with Lindsey's thesis but which are provocative (and I think dead on):

Quoting from your review: "I have a question. Who is more bothered by this "growing gap:" the people in the working class or the people in the elite? Often, it seems to me that it is the elite that is most worked up about it. The elite looks at everybody else and wonders, "what will it take to make them be like us?"

Quoting: "My prescription is, "Live with it." The elite will have their Vicky culture, over-spending on higher education and other status goods. The working class will have plenty of material comfort. I would not embark on a project to change working-class culture."

Andrew writes:

This might be my favorite blog post of 2012.

Matt C writes:

> I am just annoyed that nobody seems to have noticed my own review.

Well, let's give it another hearing then. Haven't read Brink's book yet, but I can reply to part of your review.

> I think that Brink and I could pretty much agree on the diagnosis. My prescription is, "Live with it." The elite will have their Vicky culture, over-spending on higher education and other status goods. The working class will have plenty of material comfort. I would not embark on a project to change working-class culture.

If you mean that working class people should not be nagged and "nudged" to give up NASCAR and Budweiser and shopping at Wal-Mart, of course I agree with that, probably most everyone here does.

When you're talking about people wrecking their life with drugs and drink, stealing anything that isn't nailed down, assaulting anyone who annoys them (or who looks weak when they happen to feel bored), conceiving illegitimate children they can't take care of, etc, saying "live with it" is a bit glib. It's not you or me who will have to live next door to it or grow up in the middle of it.

In particular I feel sorry for all the people who are trying to live decently and are stuck in crappy neighborhoods where they are at regular risk for theft and assault. One would think our benevolent caring welfare state would put that at a higher priority than &#$*!*@# health insurance.

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