Sometimes in debates with my more conservative friends they confuse my enthusiasm for redistribution with a distrust of capitalism or an inherent uneasiness with inequality.

Neither of those things are true. I am a lover of the free market. I find stories of self made billionaires inspiring. I see the emergent order of the market beautiful. Indeed, though I am not a Randian, I find her romantic portrayal of egoist heroes touching in a way that fiction rarely is for me.

What pulls me back towards redistribution is an acknowledgement of the pain that accompanies economic hardship. Mike Konczal called this pity charity liberalism and perhaps it is. However, pity for the suffering of mankind is nothing to be ashamed of.

Matt Yglesias draws us to a Gallup chart show what a difference economic hardship can wrought

Losing your job is on par with losing your marriage in terms of life satisfaction. Being poor doesn’t trail far behind. These are tragedies of human suffering and they deserve our attention.

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