Any student, researcher, or #OWS protestor interested in income distribution and income growth should definitely be aware of this resource: The World's Top Incomes Database. (hat tip to Krugman, from whom I learned about it). It's a very powerful database combined with a very easy to use interface that allows you to extract exactly the … Continue reading Awesome Resource – The World Top Incomes Database
There is viewpoint that asserts that income inequality and wealth inequality are necessary, that they are the differences that motivate people to work and get ahead. This viewpoint often implies that without wide income disparities that our economy's growth would slow. Supporters of such a viewpoint seem to suggest that the only choices we have … Continue reading Income Inequality Does Matter And It Makes Us Worse Off
Washington's Blog reminds us that things got ugly during the last prolonged depression in the United States. This interesting historical footage from the Great Depression shows what happens when large numbers of people are unemployed for years at a time, get desperate, and perceive that the game is rigged to the benefit of Wall Street. … Continue reading The Economy Has Caused Riots Before – In the Great Depression
Power and riches go together. But nowadays, they need political spin. Throughout history the very rich have usually also been the very powerful. And usually the very rich use that power to both protect themselves from the less well-off and to figure out ways to further enrich themselves. Often the enrichment comes at the expense … Continue reading The Fraudulent Flat Tax Pitch – A Rich and Powerful Tactic
In the constantly churning pool of Republican Presidential candidates, a seemingly political newcomer has risen to the top (for now): Herman Cain. Mr. Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza where he engineered a leveraged buy-out from Pillsbury, isn't really a political newcomer or outsider, though. He only appears to be because he personally has … Continue reading Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan and the 99%
The OccupyWallStreet movement has helped push the meme of the "99%". But to what are they referring? And what's the remaining 1%? The 99% reference refers to income distribution in the U.S. Income distribution is when we line up all the households in order according to their income from lowest to highest. Obviously with somewhere … Continue reading What’s the 99%, the 1%, and the 53% All About?
I've been asked what I think of the Occupy Wall Street Movements. I say it's about d*** time. The anger and discontentment that the movement has tapped into is real and has been building for a long time. The mass numbers of people - like say the 99% - have good reasons to be angry. … Continue reading On the Occupy Wall Street (and Everywhere Else) Movement
Averages, if you're not careful, can as easily mislead as enlighten. It matters a lot which statistical measure of the "average-ness" that's used. A good example comes in the case of the U.S. long-term trend of economic growth. What we're interested in is to what degree the amount of GDP the average household has available … Continue reading The Mean and the Median Tell Two Different Stories
When people think about "income distribution" there's a tendency to think of it only in terms of what different people or households have available to spend. In other words, we focus on the fairness or equity of whether some households should only have a small amount of money to live off of vs. others who … Continue reading Income Distribution Does Matter. It’s Wrong Now and Stopping Growth.
Peter Dorman at Econospeak has an excellent post on the real challenges facing the U.S. today. It's the political economy that must change. It no longer serves the interests of the vast majority of Americans. We need more discussion and action at these levels> It’s the Political Economy, Stupid!, by Peter Dorman: Sometimes living in … Continue reading It’s the Political Economy That Must Change.