In this preposterous article, Arthur C. Brooks argues that adjusting our society for income disparity is unnecessary, because studies show that the level of happiness hasn’t changed since 1972. Obviously, Brooks is unaware that people often prevaricate when asked “How are you doing?” or “Are you happy?” The more interesting question is whether the General Social Survey accounted for this discrepancy. Are people more conformist in 2004 than they were in 1973? And, as such, are they more inclined to say that they are “very happy” when an auspicious surveyor presses them on the subject? Furthermore, by what stretch of the imagination is improving social and financial conditions for all a bad thing? Why does Brooks naively separate opportunity from income inequality? It’s not a matter of being envious, but of ensuring that more people have a chance to live legitimately happy lives. Moving cash around from the haves to the have nots so that more income can be redistributed for the benefit of a society is a start, seeing as how government is currently disinclined to do this.
I’m with Scott. It seems patently absurd to invent bullshit genres around current events. This blog, incidentally, by way of operating presently in August 14, 2007, is a post-9/11, post-Katrina, post-Rove resignation blog. I will do my best to write with angst and importance, but I can’t promise anything.