Here is a fascinating series of four articles.
It starts with Paul Graham’s recent essay Economic Inequality. (Many readers of this blog will know Graham from his many fascinating essays, including Why Nerds Are Unpopular, What You Can’t Say and The Age of the Essay; and from his excellent book Hackers And Painters [Amazon US][Amazon UK].) Graham is broadly in favour of inequality as he sees it largely an honest signal of different ability and willingness to create value for society.
Then comes Ezra Klein’s critique, A top venture capitalist thinks startups are causing inequality. He’s wrong. (Klein is a journalist, best known for work at The Washington Post.)
Then Graham’s response, A Reply to Ezra Klein, in which he claims (you will have to decide whether he’s right) to show that all nine of Klein’s points are either incorrect or irrelevant.
Finally, and I think maybe best of the lot: Tim O’Reilly’s annotated edit/rewrite of the original essay, What Paul Graham Is Missing About Inequality. (O’Reilly is the founder of O’Reilly publishing, maybe the best publisher of technical books in computing, and also a founding investor in PeerJ, my favourite scholarly publisher.)
It will take a while to read all four, but it’s well worth it.
Who is right?