I got to sit down with one of my favorite writers, Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation, to discuss issues of wealth and want.
In this segment of our conversation, I asked Dalmia what she would want to put on the table if she were asked to hammer out some grand political compromise with the likes of, say, MoveOn.org.
Her answer suggests to me that she was not interested in much of any compromise. Rather, her prescription for poverty alleviation starts with curtailing rent-seeking--that is, collusion to craft policies that tend to benefit the wealthy and connected (at the expense of the poor and middle class).
And she's right. Anyone who claims to care about the poor (and even those hostile to the rich) should be interested in starting out by changing the policies that rig the game for the rich, as James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock describe.
Interestingly, she picks out higher education as an example of such rent-seeking. I found that fascinating, not only because we have been wrestling with such issues at The Freeman, but because higher education is the first example that came out of her mouth (even before green energy, the military-industrial complex, and big agribusiness).
In any case, please enjoy this food for thought from one of the brightest columnists working today.