Working in an inner-city clinic, I think a lot about the political and economic systems that contribute to the poverty and marginalization of my patients. What do you think can/should be done to make the world’s systems more fair to everyone?
Yeah, these aren’t hard questions at all.
Most economists favor socialism-lite. We think government should intervene in cases of market-failure when the benefits of intervention outweigh the costs of intervention. In practice that usually means something like what Europe has (not entirely though), with a lot of focus on making sure that the social safety net is high for everyone and even more focus on early childhood equality.
Of course, the rational-actor model is blind to structural inequalities stemming from racism, and many of our models seem to think that sexism is a feature, not a bug (they start out with the assumption that women are differently-abled and that’s why they get paid less… even in jobs for which they have comparative advantage). I don’t know how to get rid of -isms. I can tell you that Marxism doesn’t do it. Nor monarchy. I presume a benevolent dictatorship would even have difficulty, though maybe it would have a shot depending on how long the dictator can stay in power and how good they are at forcing behavior. If we could somehow manage to get rid of segregation, that might also help since so many of our policies use geography as a way to discriminate. Though perhaps changing those policies to be less local could help. There’s no reason, for example, for local property taxes to fund schools. Of course, we would no doubt still see inequalities from “voluntary” requested donations. Paradise requested a $500 donation from every parent at the beginning of the year, and got it from many– less wealthy areas are not able to do that.
So… what should be done? More socialism with a focus on the children. What can be done? Beats me. :( If I knew the answer to that, I’d tell it to one of the economists who hangs out with Bill Gates and they’d get to work!