Lecture 2- Jan 23

Lecture 2- Jan 23 - Inequality and American Democracy...

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Inequality and American Democracy Lecture 2: January 23, 2007 Just How Unequal is American Society? 1) Equality—Is it “turtles all the way down” a) Equality—the quality or state of being equal 2) Two Questions a) Who is equal to whom? The SUBJECT b) Equal in what sense? The OBJECT 3) “economic Inequality in the U.S.” as an example a) Subject: American citizens, or legal residents, or U.S. residents? Individuals or families or households or communities? b) Object: Income? Wealth? Welfare? Security 4) A Thought Experiment a) Ann and Bob are stranded on “Equal Island” and are in a position of pure equality (both have 3 coconuts) b) If Ann and Bob value coconuts in different ways then they are NOT equal c) Ann gives Bob a back rub in return for a coconut so Ann now has 4 cocos and Bob 2 cocos i) Key issues raised by example: (1) Equality is always defined with regard to an object (money, utility, opportunity…) (2) Do we care about resources, or what they do for people, and if the latter, do any
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course PLSC 203 taught by Professor Jacobhacker during the Spring '07 term at Yale.

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Lecture 2- Jan 23 - Inequality and American Democracy...

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