kind of life from ordinary people. The student demonstrations in Beijing that broke out first in December 1986 and recurred recently on the occasion of Hu Yao-bang's death were only the beginning of what will inevitably be mounting pressure for change in the political system as well. 4 In the early empire the price of an ordinary adult slave seems to have been about 2,000 sestertii (e.g. In the post-Second World War era, there were groups like the Committee for Economic Development that represented a responsible set of business leaders who were devoted to the project of broadly shared economic growth. Now high school kids could write software or design web sites.
Obviously, this is true on some level: an empire whose economy is barely above the level of subsistence cannot bankrupt its treasury indefinitely. They live in a world in which income is doled out by a central authority according to some abstract notion of fairness (or randomly, in the case of heirs rather than given by other people in return for something they wanted, so it may seem. Currently, the wealthiest taxpayers can avoid taxation on their gains until they sell their assets, or even escape taxation altogether by holding onto their assets until they pass away. Yet for too many Americans, high-quality education is unaffordable and unattainable.
But as the structure of markets has changed, the metrics for what constitutes undue concentration need to change, too, along with the tools we need to combat. If we don't see corresponding variation in income, there are three possible explanations: (a) that technical innovation has stopped, (b) that the people who would create the most wealth aren't doing it, or (c) that they aren't getting paid for. Unlike later historicists whose historical relativism degenerated into relativism tout court, however, Hegel believed that history culminated in an absolute moment - a moment in which a final, rational form of society and state became victorious. Payroll taxes account for 40 percent of government revenues, yet they are not nearly as progressive as income taxes. Roosevelt invested in rural electrification. High-quality education should be freely available to all, starting at the age of 3 and extending through four years of university or technical education. And they think of it as something that's distributed by authorities (and so should be distributed equally rather than something that has to be created (and might be created unequally). This calls for a new playbook, one that is attuned to the negative consequences of new forms of concentrationconsequences that are not captured by the traditional consumer welfare standardbut also sensitive to the need to avoid disrupting innovation and dynamism.