Gregory Mankiw is a distinguished professor of economics and chairman of the Harvard Economics Department and formerly served under President George W. Bush as chair of the Council of Economic Advisors. He is a neo-Keynsian and conservative. He has been controversial for saying that outsourcing is a longterm economic benefit.

Mankiw has written a paper called Defending the One Percent soon to appear in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. It's available online:

Mankiw argues that the one percent make unusual contributions to the economy and deserve unusual rewards as their due. He claims this inequality is economically efficient, and that arguments for redistribution of wealth are offset by the fact the many people choose less rewarding jobs. He finds the argument in Stiglitz's book, The Price of Inequality, that a democracy pays an enormous price for economic inequality to be unconvincing. He writes:

My own reading of the evidence is that most of the very wealthy get that way by making substantial economic contributions, not by gaming the system or taking advantage of some market failure or the political process.
It's a wonder that an economist could make this argument with a straight face in the wake of the recent financial crisis caused in large part by high-earners in the financial industry who negotiated naked credit default swaps to a total of an estimated $62 trillion. In fact Mankiw does admit that
In the end, the left’s arguments for increased redistribution are valid in principle but dubious in practice.
Mankiw advocates what he calls a "just deserts" philosophy of wealth distribution:
According to this view, people should receive compensation congruent with their contributions. If the economy were described by a classical competitive equilibrium without any externalities or public goods, then every individual would earn the value of his or her own marginal product, and there would be no need for government to alter the resulting income distribution.
Mankiw's paper has little economics in it, it's truly an opinion piece rather than a carefully honed argument, but it lays out the conservative view against higher taxes on the wealthy as clearly as you could wish.

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