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Monday, October 23, 2017

Inequality in Corporate Capitalism: Beyond Redistribution

I contend that a concern that too much income or wealth is concentrated “at the top” in the U.S. does not necessarily translate into a demand for redistribution; rather, the inequality itself may be thought dangerous to the viability of a representative democracy (i.e., a republic form of government) and inherently unfair. Even though redistribution may be entailed as large banks and business corporations are dismembered, ridding the system of the concentrations of wealth does not in itself mean that those “at the bottom” should or would necessarily become richer. For example, to say that CEOs should not be allowed to make millions of dollars, especially when their companies or banks lose money, does not imply redistribution because there is no claim that the compensation be directed to others for their benefit. The point is that the compensation itself is unfair. Indeed, saying that corporate capitalism is itself unfair because some people benefit beyond what they deserve is not to say that their benefits should be redistributed; rather, the point is simply that such benefits should not be allowed.

The full essay is at "Inequality in Corporate Capitalism."