Category Archives: Inequality

Comparative Inequality: Top Income Shares Around the World

As the Occupy Wall Street movement stands up for “the other 99%,” a data source recently cited by Paul Krugman reports the history of top income shares in twenty-six countries including the U.S. The World Top Incomes Database will soon publish data from several more countries. Among leading contributors are Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, whose collaboration on U.S. inequality is widely acknowledged as authoritative. Saez has a link on his homepage to the latest U.S. data (2008)—the first item under “Income and Wealth Inequality.”

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Census Report: Incomes, Poverty, Health Insurance Coverage

There has been a lot of coverage already, but here is an analysis focusing on longer-term trends. (Click on an image to open it in a new window.)

Figure 1

Real, inflation-adjusted incomes have fallen overall, not just during the current Great Recession, but for the last decade (Figure 1). From the end of the 2001 recession to 2010, median incomes fell 5% and no doubt have further to go. Mean, or average, incomes fell 6%. Even the modest boost, from 2004 to 2006, failed to match the level reached before the recession, in 2000.

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Steal this book? Not necessary—it’s free!

Dean Baker has published a new book (hat tip, Ezra Klein), and it’s free: The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. From the blurb:

 Progressives need a fundamentally new approach to politics. They have been losing not just because conservatives have so much more money and power, but also because they have accepted the conservatives’ framing of political debates. They have accepted a framing where conservatives want market outcomes whereas liberals want the government to intervene to bring about outcomes that they consider fair.

 This is not true….

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Doonesbury Meets Adam Smith

“It’s all good, Dawg. Trust the invisible hand.”

http://www.gocomics.com/doonesbury/2011/08/21

American Puzzle Solved! Robert Reich Explains All in 2 Minutes

Hat tip, MoveOn.org.

American Puzzle: Income Rich, Revenue Poor

Listen to Republicans long enough, and you might believe we’re burdened with taxes like no one else. And many Democrats buy into this story too. But it is a well documented fact that the U.S. is one of the least taxed nations in the advanced industrial world. To deal with Medicare, the need for revenue is unavoidable. The same is true for Social Security. Proposals limited to cutting taxes and government spending are just not credible. And cutting government spending does not create jobs—it creates lay-offs.

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