I second David’s praise for Noah’s piece on respect.  But why talk about “redistributing respect” rather than “showing more respect”?  In econ jargon, why not increase the size of the respect pie instead of squabbling over the size of the slices?

Respect really is close to a free lunch.  If you want to show more respect to workers at McDonald’s, you don’t have to compensate by snubbing bankers.  Noah’s praise of Japanese respect bears this out.  Japan doesn’t just have more equal respect; it has higher respect per-capita.

And while we’re ratcheting up respect, why not push for more friendliness – and less misanthropy – as well?