Book: The Invisible Heart (An Economic Romance). Russel Roberts. 2001 Massachus

by | Mar 20, 2022 | Economics

Book: The Invisible Heart (An Economic Romance). Russel Roberts.
2001 Massachusettesof Technology.
ISBN 0-262-18210-6
Only dead fish swim with the tide. This chapter is the climactic chapter in the economic romance, The Invisible Heart. Sam and Laura are realistic about the economic chasm between them. Laura says, “…you care about the winners and I care about the losers. You want to make sure that the gifted have a chance to use their gifts. But not everyone is gifted. I want a place for the losers as well.”
But Sam doesn’t accept this dichotomy. He points to the reality that the world is not egalitarian. Some people are more gifted than others. Some are more athletic, some are more brilliant, some are more beautiful, some are outgoing and charming, etc. Sam wants people to be free to thrive according to their gifts. Sam does not believe that means the less gifted are harmed when the gifted thrive. In fact, just the opposite. Sam argues that we benefit when the gifted are free to use their gifts to their advantage. Sam believes we suffer when the gifted are constrained or punished (i.e. heavily taxed).
Does Laura really believe the less gifted are losers? Probably not, but she might believe, like the TV show Beauty and the Beast, that the gifted win at the expense of the less gifted. (I am not saying that someone like Krauss is gifted. The Krauss’s of the world exist; they are expert at exploiting people. They are not successful in business which relies on voluntary customers. They thrive where people have no choice; situations like crony capitalism, or political machines, or criminal enterprises.). Who is more correct? Do the gifted benefit society or do the gifted exploit society?
Consider Patrick Mahomes, the highest paid quarterback in the NFL. He was paid $45,000,000 in 2021. The average NFL salary was $860,000. The average salary in the USA was $52,000. Is this inequality acceptable? What changes to this situation would make the world a better place? Would it really be a better place?
Does the situation change when we are talking about a famous CEO, like Jamie Dimon or Elon Musk? Would the world be a better place if these people were more heavily taxed? (Elon Musk says his tax bill in 2021 was $11 billion.). Do Jamie Dimon and Elon Musk earn wealth by exploiting other people? Would the world be better off if government policy prevented them from acquiring such wealth by using their business skills?
Write a short essay (two or at most three pages) on this topic. I realize that this is not an easy topic; you will have to limit yourself to keep to two or three pages.

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