March, 2019

Inequality within a system of entangled political economy

Reflections on Mikayla Novak’s disentanglement of fact and value
  • Richard Wagner

    Distinguished Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics
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In Inequality: An Entangled Political Economy Perspective, Mikayla Novak takes the analysis of inequality in a new direction by exploring the tension between fact and value that pervades most analyses of inequality. Novak offers new insights into the entangled character of political economic systems. It is customary to treat those systems as operating independently of one another, but Novak recognizes that this customary treatment leads thought astray. Inequality is a fact of social life, and a useful one at that, though Novak also recognizes the problematic qualities that can stem from inequality, while also recognizing that some of those qualities are intensified and not softened by political action. The overall thrust of Novak’s Inequality is to generate a deeper understanding of how it is that many of the traditional concerns about inequality are more effectively treated by an expansion of economic liberty than by a continued injection of political domination into society