Bob Solow comments on Greg Mankiw’s defence of the “1%” ers and Mankiw replies. I think Solow wins the day – most of the big fortunes these days stem from the finance sector and from trading. It is not from super-marketing, deal-making types like Steve Jobs (Mankiw’s hero) although even there are spivy oh so American traits. But my real gripe with Mankiw is covered in the first few lines of Solow’s letter. Why does Mankiw feel the need to come to the defence of this highly privileged lot? His blog does this sort of thing all the time. Why not defend the interests, at least occasionally, of the worst-off? My own view is that Greg Mankiw is a highly skilled technician and expositor of American-stylle modern economics. He sees this as economics. I tend to think of the Mankiw view as more of a selfish American aberration that gets the logic mostly right but the ethical priors mostly wrong.