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Category Archive for 'Inequality'

This article from the Wonkblog (the Vox folks’ old stomping grounds) argues that America has a growing food inequality problem. Let’s not dispute that claim. With growing income inequality it would not at all be surprising to see consumption inequality follow-suit, even if you expect it to be less dramatic. But awkwardly, the article vaguely references […]

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Even if we accept that some important measures of inequality have increased in the United States (and ignoring the increases elsewhere), has anyone actually demonstrated that this is any kind of a problem? And when I say problem, I don’t mean that some people don’t like it, or that it’s because the authors of such […]

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Inequality and Revolution

Yes, I said the “R’ word. In order to persuade folks about the problems of “inequality” it would of course be nice to: Define precisely what inequality is. Are we talking about absolute inequality? Relative inequality. Tell us how we can actually measure it. Follow the SAME people over time. I’m sorry, but there is […]

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He just wants to fix it. No comments from this peanut gallery. But Scott Sumner hits a 600 foot homer, do read the whole thing: Here’s what Yglesias misses. Unequal consumption matters because of opportunity cost—another bedrock of economics. The resources that went into that $200 million yacht could have produced lots of other goodies […]

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The causes of income inequality are numerous, complex and poorly understood. Therefore I am going to present an entirely simplified thought experiment that would “solve” the problem and then take myself really seriously in terms of advancing the idea. We should endorse the immediate and rapid end of Harvard and any other elite university in […]

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Try this on for size: Evidence indicates that the price elasticity of demand for labor is quite high, at least 3. That is, an increase in average wages of 1% would lead to at least a 3% decline in the number of hours of work demanded by employers. Labor economists believe, however, that the price […]

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For those of you looking for good reasons to support progressive taxation (note that is different than asking one group to pay more, we are asking them to pay more than more), I would suggest you stay away from the idea that “a dollar is worth more to a poor person than a rich person.” For starters, […]

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I’ve been met by two common complaints lately. First that the rich have undue political power in America. Second, that the poor have too little labor market power. Both may be true. I don’t know. But then riddle me these: (1) If the rich have so much influence, then how come the vast majority of […]

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We’re staying at a condo right now here in the People’s Republic of the Berkshires. It occurs to me that the rich folks who built second homes here might be environmental Heros rather than demons, at least a little. How? These condos use a lot of lumber that was grown for the purpose of building […]

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Equality

Don’t try this at home … I’m blogging while driving. I apologize for grammatical and spelling errors. In recent days I’ve run across a lot of sympathetic Scandinavian navel gazing. The gist is that countries like Finland pay higher taxes, have less “freedom” (whatever that means), are better educated, more “secure” and are happier. Let’s […]

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