There's an intriguing column by Clive Crook in today's Financial Times on a book suggesting that "The US social contract needs to be revised, so that the elderly, many of whom are comparatively well off, receive less so that the poor can get more." This is a Robin-Hood, which has its own problems, but at least it's not a Reverse Robin-Hood. We made a similar point about the elderly here in connection with the "granny grant." Mr. Crook also brings some troubling data on social mobility: "The figures show that US children born in the lowest and highest quintiles of the income distribution are more likely to stay there than in Britain, for example, and much more likely than in countries such as Sweden and Denmark." I've often defended income inequality on social mobility grounds, arguing that it's not so bad that the rich are a lot richer than the poor, because some of those rich used to be poor, and they may yet end up poor again. It's an argument you hear made fairly often on the free-market side of things, but it's one that gets weaker as social mobility declines.