The more things change …

As I said before, the Republican party seems to have suddenly discovered that inequality is something that people are concerned and angry about and have decided that they need to address the issue. The Daily Show looks at what they are proposing to do about it.

(This clip aired on January 26, 2015. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Nightly Show outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

When the Republican party talks about inequality, I think that this is what its members are concerned about



  1. md says

    The laws of supply and demand apply to the labor market. Cesar Chavez understood this.

    Tighten the supply of both unskilled labor markets and lower the number of H1-bs and watch wages begin to increase. We should not let the Zuckerbergs and Gates of this country flood good middle class programming jobs with cheaper labor just so they can pocket the gains. Any discussion of inequality that does not mention the downward effect on wages of increasing labor supply is incomplete.

  2. invivoMark says

    How ironic to talk about fixing income inequality by not allowing less privileged individuals to have jobs. An irony, I am sure, that passes completely over md’s head.

  3. md says


    What do you do for a living? Can someone, somewhere on the globe do it cheaper? Your boss will then lobby to change the law to his purposes and then auction off your job to the cheapest bidder starting Monday. The difference between what he used to pay you and what he’ll pay your replacement will go to his profit margin. And what you used to produce he’ll be able to sell for cheaper. Consumers will benefit. In fact, everyone benefits. Except for you.

    Mano, starting next semester tenure is eliminated. Your Faculty chair will be auctioning off your teaching position to someone from Sri Lanka for one semester. He can do it for cheaper. It will be great for the students and their tuition fees will reflect the savings, im sure.

    Sometimes economics is zero-sum.

  4. Holms says

    More important than ‘can someone, somewhere on the globe do it cheaper’ is ‘why can that person do it cheaper?’ What you will find is that areas with a very cheap labour market are cheap because they have very little in the way of worker protection; labour is cheap because the labourer is being exploited.

  5. Lassi Hippeläinen says

    Henry Ford once doubled the salaries of his workers. He thought they should be able to buy a car. The result was a roaring success, especially for the company.

    There’s a lesson there for md.

  6. Paulo Borges says

    I guess too many people are reading Piketty and making the same “discovery” that he made, the current system creates inequality. And worst approving his absurd, nonsensical remedies.
    The main problem with economists and people in general, me included, is that we became unable of imagining anything other than the current paradigm and are only able to think under the rules set by it. Unless this changes the trend will continue for further and further until the complete collapse of the system.

  7. invivoMark says

    md, I work in academia as a researcher. Yes, people can do my job cheaper. They’re called post-docs. They’re a necessary part of scientific progress, and lots of them have H-1b work visas. And that’s a good thing, because it expands the cooperation among scientists worldwide and leads to better insights and more startups. And yet, my job still exists.

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