Monday, August 16, 2010

Equality Lust is Envy by Another Name

The following is from
Income-Earning Man
Posted: 03 Aug 2010 06:41 AM PDT
Here's a letter to the Los Angeles Times:
Like Michael Smith, I don't suffer from the "Progressive" itch for income equality (Letters <,0,7397435.story> , Aug. 3). Not only does achievement of such "equality" require the state to treat people unequally, obsession with income equality also reflects a Scrooge-like fetish for money.
Consider a man who spends long hours at the gym. He does so for the same reasons that another man spends long hours at work: to gain an advantage and a sense of achievement. Are gym-man's broad shoulders, bulging biceps, and ripped torso appropriate objects of envy by couch-potato man? Is this envy a social problem demanding government action? Should gym-man be scorned as greedy for working extra-hard to improve his physique - extra-hard work that likely wins gym-man disproportionate access to attractive mates? Should government force gym-man to share his beautiful babes with couch-potato man? Should gym-man's muscles, or natural good looks, be taxed?
If we recognize that envy of other persons' physiques is a sentiment deserving only ridicule, why do so many "Progressives" excuse - or even positively approve of - envy of other persons' monetary assets?
Donald J. Boudreaux
Actually, of course, a person's going to the gym is less beneficial for others than is that person spending time earning income in the market. Working out and getting buff is closer to a zero-sum game than is profitably tranforming inputs into outputs for sale to consumers."

I take issue with Dr. B's analysis at the end.  Proper physical training keeps people healthier, longer, and out of nursing homes and motorized scooters longer, and more productive, longer.  What is 'proper' training?  The kind that results in strength and mobility gains.  There's a good, better, best continuum in my opinion.  First is - do anything!  That's good.  Next is to use weights and functional movements with the assistance of a trained coach - squats, deadlifts, presses, cleans, pullups, etc.  All of these movements are foundational to the human genome and result in better strength gains than any amount of machine based training, soft round ball rolling, or jogging - these movements are "no side effect prescriptions for health and wellness."  "Best" is to combine functional movements with a randomized programming schedule, while working out in a CrossFit gym with your friends and a CrossFit trainer.  There you will buoy your sole with the warmth of camaraderie, while gaining increased work capacity for short, medium and long duration efforts, and high, medium and low work output rates, and with a variety of training modes - weights, body weight work, and monostructural efforts such as running/rowing/cycling.  CrossFit and similar styles of training are the cure to the health care crisis.

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