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March 16, 2006

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Robert Nozick, a recently passed philosopher who provided secular, philosophical justification for libertarian justice, had a famous gedankenexperiment about income inequality. Consider a world where everyone has equal initial income but unequal distr... [Read More]

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jf

You consistently raise interesting topics of discussion. A parrallel phenomenon seems to be taking place in the near monopoly of Microsoft. It has a virtual lock on the PC operating system, but there are alternative personal computer operating systems out there (Apple and Linux to name two). Is Microsoft's marketshare relative to it's superiority? If it is just a little bit better than the others, shouldn't it have just a little bit better marketshare? As American big business goes, so goes the hierarchy within individual businesses.

Jeremy

the major reason driving pay at the top end is the result of many features, most of the social. But, and Jack Welch realises this, the investment bankers, and there extraordinary salaries, are driving CEO's to seek higher compensation (remember the Chris Gent, Goldman Sachs deal bonue row: Gent got a deal bonus, thension funds complained, Gent said he wanted to be paid as much as the bankers).

Bear Stearns returned record results today, as did Lehman. The pay at these places is extraordinary and is affecting the wider economy. Remember that financial services proportions of the s&p 500 are currently at record highs.

Tom

What jf said about your topics being interesting. Keep up the good work.

It does make sense that increasing returns is rarely present without a little (or a lot) of uncertainty. Who can tell who'll be a good CEO or manager of the Canadian hockey team or the English football team until you give them a go?

It also makes sense that the more history is important the more the starting point (or smartness of the winner) need not be remarkable in any way.

Which is to say that this all seems very depressingly believable.

Robert Schwartz

Krugman is a political hack who works for the NYTimes. Why is opinion interesting.

Tom

Apart from "political hack" and "works for the NYTimes", you've really nailed him.

Maynard Handley

I continue to be amazed that this issue of CEO pay is treated as some aspect of pure economics, with power in all its forms something completely irrelevant to the issue.
What's next? An analysis of how Stalin came to rule the Soviet Union because the market determined that he represented the best value for money?

Robert Schwartz

OK he is a third rate political hack.

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