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A good society accords higher status to people who make everyone better off

October 18, 2020

John Cochrane argues that what the modern left wants most is power.

Consider the possibility that “power” (like money) is just a means to “status.” There is a good argument that status is a primary motivation for a lot of human action. Ideally a system would accord status to those that help everyone to flourish. A well functioning market economy does a pretty good job of this, but not all aspects of *our* economy are well functioning and that leads people to pursue power as an alternative route to status.

If you reduced cronyism (and other similar tendencies) would you reduce the demand for power as an alternative? What if you places a greater emphasis on social equality?

I don’t know the answer, but these possibilities seem worth considering.


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