Is Income Equality Possible? Looking at Kibbutzim with Ran Abramitzky

What would it mean to create a society with income equality? This is a burning political and social question today as we look at our world where fewer and fewer people hold a larger and larger part of the economic pie. But it’s also something that we can look to Jewish history to try to understand, so we are joined in this episode by Ran Abramitzky to discuss his book The Mystery of the Kibbutz: Egalitarian Principles in a Capitalist World which explores how and why kibbutzim developed in Palestine and Israel and the relationship between income equality in kibbutzim with economic models like free riders, adverse selection, and the brain drain. Listen to our conversation about how kibbutzim created a social framework that allowed them to maintain a measure of income equality, if only for a time, and what that tells us about the possibilities for income equality in our own age. As Ran argues, income equality is possible—but it doesn’t come for free.

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