Tag Archives

Archive of posts published in the tag: income inequality

Is Inequality a Problem?

Relative poverty is a very different problem from absolute poverty.  If you were sitting in a room with a 100 executives making a six figure income and Bill Gates walked in, the inequality would skyrocket.  Is that a problem?

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Peter’s Wall

When you rob Peter to pay Paul you can count on Paul’s approval, but you can also count on Peter moving to another more friendly place.  When you try to build a wall to keep Peter in, you also discourage Peters from moving here, and you encourage young and enterprising Peters to move away BEFORE they become wealthy enough to be worth robbing.

Warren’s policy is as destructive of our long term financial health as any policy we can imagine. 

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Poverty and Inequality

The prioritization of inequality over poverty is attributed to envy in some cases but more often to a violation of some sense of fairness. But just as we should care not the think of the poor as a single entity, we should be even more cautious not to group the rich or even the super-rich as a single faceless group. Some of the super wealthy have benefited us all, and some have abused the system to their advantage while providing little value. We should distinguish between the rent seekers and the rich who have improved our lives.

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The Counterproductive Estate Tax

by Henry Oliner
The estate tax is less of a transfer from the rich to the poor than it is a transfer from one group of wealthy to other wealthy special interests.  The great beneficiaries of estate taxes are tax lawyers and accountants, insurance companies, and wealthier businesses who use the pressure of the estate taxes to acquire other firms and grow larger.

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Piketty Ignores Changes in the Tax Rules

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in The Twenty First Century, has spawned a cottage industry of dissent.  Piketty uses masses of data to illuminate a growth in inequality, that he surmises is an inevitable result of capitalism and can only be resolved…

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Piketty’s Serious Flaws

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in The Twenty First Century, has spawned a cottage industry of dissent.  Piketty uses masses of data to illuminate a growth in inequality, that he surmises is an inevitable result of capitalism and can only be resolved…

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We Have the Data

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in The Twenty First Century, has spawned a cottage industry of dissent.  Piketty uses masses of data to illuminate a growth in inequality, that he surmises is an inevitable result of capitalism and can only be resolved…

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Obscuring Intellectual Failure

Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek quotes from Deirdre McCloskey’s outstanding Bourgeois Equality in his Bonus Quotation of the Day: Members of the left clerisy, such as Tony Judt or Paul Krugman or Thomas Piketty, who are quite sure that they…

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Violating Horizontal Equity

From The NYT and economist Greg Mankiw,  Why Taxing Fairly Means Not Taxing Inheritances: Excerpt: From my perspective, the estate tax is a bad way to tax the rich because it violates a principle that economists call horizontal equity. The…

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The Shrinking Middle Class is Not a Bad Thing

Measuring income inequality is more difficult than most realize.  Is it a problem if the middle class is shrinking if the reason is that most are moving into the upper class?  Why isn’t Obama bragging about this?

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Policy Under False Pretenses

from Mark Perry at Carpe Diem,  New BLS data show that for all ‘chief executives,’ the ‘average CEO-to-average worker pay ratio’ is less than 5-to-1 For the sample of 20,620 CEOs reported by the BLS, their average pay increased only…

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The Hidden Assets of the 99%

from the Wall Street Journal, The Uncounted Trillions in the Inequality Debate by Martin Feldstein: excerpts: These data seem to show a country whose wealth is highly concentrated. But the true picture is hardly as stark as critics of inequality…

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Jaded at Tax Reform

From Robert Samuelson at The Washington Post, The coming middle-class tax increase There is a broader message here. Both parties have constructed rationales for avoiding middle-class tax increases, which would be highly unpopular. It’s not that these rationales are illegitimate: The…

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Lifestyle Equality

from Mark Perry in his blog Carpe Diem, John Tamny on ‘surging lifestyle equality’ and the source of the Clintons’ wealth excerpts: The ‘wealth inequality’ decried by clueless economists and opportunistic politicians has been mis-named. What’s a pejorative is unrelentingly…

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The Dynamic Household

Economist Mark Perry writes in his blog, Carpe Diem, US middle class has disappeared into higher-income groups; recent stagnation explained by changing household demographics? Excerpts:  Here’s another way to understand the dynamic income shift over the last half century that…

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Piketty’s Absence of Historical Context

Jonah Goldberg writes Mr. Piketty’s Big Book of Marxiness in the July issue of Commentary. Excerpt: Of course, America has poor people, though it has relatively few who go hungry because capitalism has failed them. The average poor person in America, in…

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Raising Incomes vs Reducing Inequality

Kevin Williamson writes What to Do About Wages in The National Review. Excerpts: Inequality as such should be a complete non-issue. It is utterly meaningless as a measure of anybody’s real-world standard of living or of national prosperity. If real wages for…

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How Not to Improve Wages

Kevin Williamson writes What to Do About Wages in The National Review. Excerpts: There are basically three ways to raise incomes. The first is through capital investment that raises the value of labor. But capital investment also replaces labor in many instances,…

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Relativity of Wealth

Jonah Goldberg writes Mr. Piketty’s Big Book of Marxiness in the July issue of Commentary. Excerpt: Well, no. In fact, the Billy Zane character was an entirely fictional creation of James Cameron’s imagination (and the proper spelling of his name is Hockley;…

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Exclusion of Housing from Piketty’s Wealth Data

Jonah Goldberg writes Mr. Piketty’s Big Book of Marxiness in the July issue of Commentary. Excerpt: Homburg, the American Enterprise Institute’s Kevin Hassett, and a team at the Sciences Po in Paris, moreover, argue that the recent widening of the wealth-to-income gap…

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