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Inequality, Trade, and Robin Hood

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robin hood.jpg Is it really true that the poorest Americans are magnitudes better off than the poor in the developing world? Should we care more for our fellow citizens- even if they are better off- than about people far away? Is it really forces such as globalization and automation that are responsible for making people poor?

These are just some of the difficult- and often controversial- questions EconTalk host Russ Roberts explores in this week's conversation. His guest, last year's Nobel prize-winner, Sir Angus Deaton.

Deaton speaks out against what he calls "cosmopolitan prioritarianism," suggesting that indeed we ought attend more to those suffering within our own community. This of course raises questions about the nature of borders and national identity. Deaton, a Scot, feels more affinity with fellow Scots-men, for example, than with other citizens of the larger United Kingdom. So does this mean that you (if you're an American) should worry more about rural Mississippi than the Central African Republic? And in either case, how can we best assess the true level of poverty in which people are living?

It's another intriguing episode, and we hope you'll head over and give it a listen or check out the highlights. And if you've not been following Russ Roberts on Medium, you'll find lots of extra links, images, and more to keep tickling your brain...


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CATEGORIES: EconTalk




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