Tag Archives

Archive of posts published in the tag: inequality

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 Success and Failure of Our Poverty Programs

“The stated goal of the War on Poverty is not just to raise living standards, but also to make America’s poor more self-sufficient and to bring them into the mainstream of the economy. In that effort the war has been an abject failure, increasing dependency and largely severing the bottom fifth of earners from the rewards and responsibilities of work.”

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Handouts for the Wealthy

“The working classes get riled up when they see someone at the grocery store flipping out their food stamps to buy a T-bone. They have no idea that a nice family on the other side of town is walking away with $100,000 for flipping their house.”

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Capitalizing the Great Recession

“The extraordinary postcrash prosperity of the precrash superrich is altogether new in our history. Near-zero interest rates are a godsend to the wealthy, inflating their real estate, stock portfolios, bond portfolios, private equity holdings, and art collections. Middle-class and blue-collar Americans, meanwhile, haven’t made much progress, and many are worse off. Inequality has increased.”

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The Great Equalizer Surprise

from The Wall Street Journal by Gregory Clark
“As a bizarre consequence of this pattern, African-Americans, who have low levels of net worth on average, are the social group for which inherited wealth represents the largest share of their net worth. Another odd implication is that inheritances tend to make overall wealth-holding more equal. Were inherited wealth to be completely abolished, the wealth of the poor would decline more than that of the rich. Inherited wealth is the great equalizer. Who knew?”

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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’s Myth of Self Managing Wealth

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 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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Economic Growth and Inequality

Lawrence J. Haas reviews “The Retreat of Western Liberalism” by Edward Luce in The WSJ How does this growing inequality affect the liberal project? “Liberal democracy’s strongest glue is economic growth,” Mr. Luce argues. “When groups fight over the fruits…

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Poverty and Privilege

from “The Inequality Trap: Fighting Capitalism Instead of Poverty (UTP Insights)” by William Watson “In sum, we should worry less about inequality, which is a distraction from what ought to be our true targets, poverty and privilege, and we should…

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The Difficulty of Measuring Inequality

from The Inequality Hype by Neil Gilbert in The American Interest: However as Richard Burkhauser pointed out in his presidential address to the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, the market income of a tax unit is a poor…

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Distinguishing Welfare from Socialism

Political terms evolve and Kevin Williamson makes an rare but important distinction. Providing for the poor from the public sector is not not synonymous with socialism.  Socialism is more about government control of the economy than mere redistribution. from Venezuela…

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The Hypertrophy of Finance

George Gilder explains how the management of our money system has increased inequality. While the trade in goods and services has remained stagnant the volume of trade, and the ensuing profits, in currency trading and financial instruments has grown substantially,…

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The Difference Between Florence Alabama and Florence Italy

Inequality in American Life is not as easy to measure as you would think and probably even more difficult to make relevant. The common solutions from the left point more to reducing the wealthy than raising the poor, as if…

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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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Hillary’s Economic Scorecard

Carly Fiorina schools Hillary on the economy in Hillary Clinton Flunks Economics in The Wall Street Journal: And yet Hillary Clinton said on Oct. 13 in the first Democratic presidential debate, “The economy does better when you have a Democrat in the…

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The Government of the 1%

Carly Fiorina schools Hillary on the economy in Hillary Clinton Flunks Economics in The Wall Street Journal: People at the top seem to be doing just fine under the policies she extols. As this newspaper reported last year, in the period…

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Mobility vs Welfare

from the Wall Street Journal, Economist Raj Chetty’s Proposals on Inequality Draw Interest on Both Sides of the Political Aisle: By analyzing tax records of families in 741 geographic districts, he pinpoints hotbeds of opportunity. Poorer children in Salt Lake…

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