Yaron Brook, president of the Ayn Rand Institute, spent several weeks recently on a speaking tour through Europe and Russia. The theme for these talks, largely, was the theme of his, with Don Watkins, forthcoming book: the idea that equality is unfair and that inequality is moral and just.
This particular talk was given at Högerteknologerna and Fria Moderata Studentförbundet, Sweden. Before he begin the main talk, he commented that in other places where he had given talks the Q&A sessions almost always include questions about how the example of Sweden shows that socialism works. This received quite a chuckle from the Swedish audience.
Yaron begins the talk with an overview of the popular view of inequality and discusses how this view is incorrect. He then moves on to looking at the question of, even if the popular view of inequality were true, should we care. He contends that in a free market no one should care about inequality as the only way to become wealthy is to provide goods and services that help a lot of people.
Both from an economic and moral perspective, in a free market inequality is irrelevant.
He acknowledges that we do not currently live in a free society and there are many issues facing us such as cronyism, entrenched poverty and the “stagnant” middle-class (he questions this last one as being accurate). None of these issues however have “anything to do with the relative wealth or relative income of people.” To find out the actual causes of these issues, watch the video.
The 38 minute talk is followed by about 45 minutes of a lively, sometimes testy, Q&A period which included topics of: social justice, elevation of feelings over thought, the outcome of a fair system, the moral argument that inequality is fair, the only proper sense in which equality matters, refugee crisis in Europe and more.