Monthly Archives: January 2013

Microclass mobility (and its critics)

A few weeks ago I blogged about the idea of looking at class inequality in terms of ‘microclasses’ – that is, instead of looking at ‘big class’ inequality (e.g.  professionals vs. manual workers), we look at ‘microclass’ inequality (e.g. welders … Continue reading

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The red rag of health incentives

In this guest post, Harald Schmidt from the University of Pennsylvania takes apart the media furore about a proposal  (at least as reported) to cut payments to unhealthy benefit claimants if they didn’t go to the gym – using the insights gained … Continue reading

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Banging on about benefits: Addendum

As a side note to my previous post, there was another interesting finding from the TUC survey I mentioned. When asked about benefits, 48% of people supported limiting increases to below inflation (vs. 32% opposed). When asked how benefits should … Continue reading

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When are we going to stop banging on about benefits?

Does the amount we spend on benefits for the unemployed justify the attention they get? We write a lot about welfare benefits on this blog. They’re an important part of social policy that rarely spends long out of the newspaper … Continue reading

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Racial fluidity is more common than you might think

Most social scientists agree that racial differences come not just from biology, but also from changing social realities. In the 20th century, categories of race in the United States were redefined across many dimensions – the children of Italian, Slavic, … Continue reading

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Trapped on Spaceship Earth

In the last post, I summarized arguments from Nick Bostrum about the Fermi Paradox (the surprising absence of evidence for extraterrestrial civilizations). Bostrum suggested that there may be a ‘Great Filter’, that is, that there is a problem (or problems) … Continue reading

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Existential Risks and 100 Billion Worlds

An existential risk is one where an adverse outcome would annihilate Earth‐originating intelligent life or permanently and drastically curtail its potential for future development. (Nick Bostrum). Humanity faces existential risks and these risks set the context for egalitarian thought in … Continue reading

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What can doormen teach us about inequality?

Mixing across social class boundaries is rare in the United States and becoming rarer. In places like New York City, the professional elites often live in well-manicured and exclusive buildings in coveted areas like the Upper East Side, and entry … Continue reading

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Classes or ‘microclasses’? The nature of occupational inequality

From Bush to Bush. Miliband to Miliband. Kennedy to Kennedy. Churchill to Churchill. There’s no shortage of political dynasties either in the US or UK, where politically powerful parents beget politically powerful children. Likewise, we often observe how doctors’ children become … Continue reading

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Equality is a matter of the heart

Let me start the new year with a tribute to my co-bloggers. The thoughtful and scholarly posts here do egalitarianism proud. And a reminder to us all that egalitarianism is also a matter of the heart. 

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