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The new gilded age: Income inequality in the U.S. by state, metropolitan area, and county | Economic Policy Institute
"This report, our fourth such analysis,1 focuses on trends in income inequality. It uses the latest available data to examine how the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent in each state have fared over the years 1917–2015 and to provide a snapshot of top incomes in 2015 by county and metropolitan area."
income-distribution  income  inequality  america  economics 
july 2018 by tsuomela
Kapital for the Twenty-First Century? | Dissent Magazine
"Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, trans. Arthur Goldhammer Belknap Press, 2014, 671 pp."
book  review  capitalism  income  economics  class  inequality 
march 2014 by tsuomela
The Brittle Grip, Part 2
"Let me state the phenomenon as clearly as possible: The extremely wealthy are objectively far wealthier, far more politically powerful and find a far more indulgent political class than at any time in almost a century - at least. And yet at the same time they palpably feel more isolated, abused and powerless than at any time over the same period and sense some genuine peril to the whole mix of privileges, power and wealth they hold."
politics  wealth  paranoia  power  income  income-distribution 
january 2014 by tsuomela
Two Nations, Under Mammon | The American Conservative
"William Galston has written an important column in the Wall Street Journal, devoted to an assessment of Tyler Cowen’s new book, Average Is Over. The book tells of a coming(?) nation of two economic classes, the meritocratic elite and an increasingly poor, even third-world economic class of underemployed who gather in large ghetto areas (e.g., Texas) with poor public services but plentiful distractions (think: internet porn, 24/7/365 football, and soon-to-be legalized marijuana delivered by e-joints)."
book  economics  future  class  income  inequality 
october 2013 by tsuomela
Guaranteed income’s moment in the sun | Remapping Debate
"What allowed for GAI [guaranteed annual income] to be considered seriously by both Republicans and Democrats in the late-1960s and early 1970s? Why would the chances for a GAI proposal be so bleak today? And why are the answers to those questions critical to the outcome of virtually every other domestic public policy issue that exists today?"
politics  history  economics  income  government  social-security  overton-window  markets-uber-alles  capitalism  welfare  1970s  1960s 
may 2013 by tsuomela
You Can Never Have Too Much Money, New Research Shows | Brookings Institution
"In 1974 Richard Easterlin famously posited that increasing average income did not raise average well-being, a claim that became known as the Easterlin Paradox. Since then, some researchers have acknowledged the existence of a link between income and well-being among those whose basic needs have not been met, but claim that beyond a certain income threshold ( a "satiation point"), further income is unrelated to well-being. But new research by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers finds a robust link between income and well-being among both the poor and the rich. This finding holds true when making cross-national comparisons between rich and poor countries, and when making comparisons between rich and poor people within a country."
economics  money  psychology  happiness  income  wealth 
april 2013 by tsuomela
interfluidity » Trade-offs between inequality, productivity, and employment
"I think there is a tradeoff between inequality and full employment that becomes exacerbated as technological productivity improves. This is driven by the fact that the marginal benefit humans gain from current consumption declines much more rapidly than the benefit we get from retaining claims against an uncertain future.

Wealth is about insurance much more than it is about consumption. As consumers, our requirements are limited. But the curve balls the universe might throw at us are infinite. If you are very wealthy, there is real value in purchasing yet another apartment in yet another country through yet another hopefully-but-not-certainly-trustworthy native intermediary. "
money  wealth  income  income-distribution  insurance  inequality  productivity  employment  technology 
august 2012 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: Durable inequality
"Chuck Tilly was an enormously creative historical sociologist, and he also had a knack for a good title. This is certainly true of his 1998 book, Durable Inequality. The topic is of particular interest today, in the contemporary environment of ever-more visible and widening inequalities that pervade American society."
book  review  sociology  inequality  money  class  wealth  income 
july 2012 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: Rawls on a property-owning democracy
"It seems apparent that progressives lack powerful visions of what a just modern democracy could look like. The issues and principles that are being developed within this new discussion of Rawls have the potential for creating such a vision, as compelling in our times as the original idea of justice as fairness was in the 1970s. It is, in the words of O'Neill and Williamson, "a political economy based on wide dispersal of capital with the political capacity to block the very rich and corporate elites from dominating the economy and relevant public policies" (4). And it is a society that comes closer to the ideas of liberty and equality that underlie our core conception of democracy than we have yet achieved."
political-science  philosophy  wealth  income  income-distribution  economics  progressive  vision  people(JohnRawls) 
july 2012 by tsuomela
What’s so special about equality of opportunity?
But the fact remains that every country with substantially more mobility than the U.S. is more equal in terms of outcomes as well. The distinction between equality of outcomes and opportunity has some theoretical appeal, but in practice, you get both or neither.
equality  opportunity  income  correlation  politics 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Charles Murray on the new upper class « Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science
"I think Murray and I are basically in agreement about the facts here. If you take narrow enough slices and focus on the media, academia, and civilian government, you can find groups of elites with liberal attitudes on economic and social issues. But I’m also interested in all those elites with conservative attitudes. Statistically, they outnumber the liberal elites. The conservative elites tend to live in different places than the liberal elites and they tend to have influence in different ways (consider, for example, decisions about where to build new highways, convention centers, etc., or pick your own examples), and those differences interest me." Annotated link http://www.diigo.com/bookmark/http://andrewgelman.com/2012/02/some-reactions-to-charles-murrays-thoughts-on-income-and-politics
elites  expertise  class  wealth  income  economics  politics 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Acting Dead, Trading Up and Leaving the Middle Class
"Another reason is that I was (and remain to some extent) guilty of what science fiction writer Bruce Sterling calls acting dead: being irrationally averse to spending money where it matters, in a misguided attempt to “save” money to the point that the behavior paralyzes you. A large segment of the middle class is starting to act dead these days. Which makes sense since the class itself is dying. To stop acting dead, you have to resolve to exit the traditional middle class as well, unless you want to go down with it."
america  economics  class  middle-class  income  spending  satisfaction 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior
Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving, relative to lower-class individuals. In follow-up laboratory studies, upper-class individuals were more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies (study 3), take valued goods from others (study 4), lie in a negotiation (study 5), cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize (study 6), and endorse unethical behavior at work (study 7) than were lower-class individuals. Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.
psychology  lying  behavior  morality  ethics  class  income  money  socioeconomic  status  judgment  self-interest 
february 2012 by tsuomela
nsf.gov - National Science Foundation (NSF) News - New Studies Determine Which Social Class More Likely to Behave Unethically - US National Science Foundation (NSF)
A series of studies conducted by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Toronto in Canada reveal something the well off may not want to hear. Individuals who are relatively high in social class are more likely to engage in a variety of unethical behaviors.
psychology  lying  behavior  morality  ethics  class  income  money 
february 2012 by tsuomela
Bruce Bartlett: Tax Code Not Aligned With Basic Principles - NYTimes.com
We can see, then, that the tax system in the United States violates the fundamental principles of income taxation. Those are “vertical equity,” which says that those with upper incomes should pay a higher effective tax rate than those with modest incomes — as far back as Adam Smith, ability to pay has always been a core principle of taxation — and “horizontal equity,” which says that those with roughly the same income ought to pay roughly the same taxes.
politics  government  taxes  income  fairness  principles 
february 2012 by tsuomela
Stumbling and Mumbling: The "scarce talent" con
"Bank bosses have played a trick which countless ordinary workers do. The IT support guy who introduces lots of “security features” to his firm’s IT systems, or the secretary who has an incomprehensible filing system, make themselves indispensable by inconveniencing others."
banking  business  management  managerial  complexity  income  economics  rewards  incentives  talent 
february 2012 by tsuomela
Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1% | Society | Vanity Fair
"Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret."
economics  income  income-distribution  money  wealth  power  inequality 
april 2011 by tsuomela
The sad but true story of wages in America
Essentially, economic policy has not supported good jobs over the last 30 years or so. Rather, the focus has been on policies that were thought to make consumers better off through lower prices: deregulation of industries, privatization of public services, the weakening of labor standards including the minimum wage, erosion of the social safety net, expanding globalization, and the move toward fewer and weaker unions. These policies have served to erode the bargaining power of most workers, widen wage inequality, and deplete access to good jobs. In the last 10 years even workers with a college degree have failed to see any real wage growth.
economics  money  wages  wealth  work  labor  income  productivity  history  econometrics 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Low-wage East meets high-quality West: New firm-level evidence from France | vox - Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists
"With exports from low-wage countries like China on the rise, the question of what this means for trade and jobs in developed countries is a furious war of words. This column, using firm-level data for France between 1995 and 2005, shows that competition from low-wage markets actually boosts the sales of high-quality goods – but it concedes the benefits are not universal."
econometrics  economics  comparison  international  trade  wages  income 
march 2011 by tsuomela
The 12 States Of America - Magazine - The Atlantic
"We analyzed reams of demographic, economic, cultural, and political data to break the nation’s 3,141 counties into 12 statistically distinct “types of place.” When we look at family income over the past 30 years through that prism, the full picture of the income divide becomes clearer—and much starker. "
america  geography  income  income-distribution  economics 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Philo-of-eco blog: Specialization without Trade (or naked self-interest of ignorant economists) - New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science
"A taxi driver, who moves from La Paz, Bolivia, to New York city can (with a little bit of credentialing) without any change in his skills make a lot of extra income as a taxi driver. (An economics professor who moves from Harvard to Karachi experiences the reverse.) This suggests that our actual individual income is a poor proxy for the individual contribution to marginal product."
economics  luck  morality  just-deserts  philosophy  income 
february 2011 by tsuomela
Stumbling and Mumbling: Inequality, unrest
"This suggests that when inequality is very high, people resign themselves to it, believing there is nothing they can do.
For me, the lessons here are important.
One is that adaptive preferences can arise very easily. But if circumstances shape preferences, then it is simply fallacious to infer that a social structure exists because it is what people want. "False consciousness" is not a Marxist fiction.
Secondly, “stability”- to use that fetish of pompous geopolitical pundits - is no indication whatsoever of a just society."
economics  political-science  inequality  income  wealth  power 
february 2011 by tsuomela
Americans Vastly Underestimate Wealth Inequality, Support 'More Equal Distribution Of Wealth': Study
"More interesting than that, the report says, is that the respondents (a randomly selected 5,522-person sample, reflecting the country's ideological, economic and gender demographics, surveyed in December 2005) believed the top 20 percent should own only 32 percent of the wealth. Respondents with incomes over $100,000 per year had similar answers to those making less than $50,000. (The report has helpful, multi-colored charts.)

The respondents were presented with unlabeled pie charts representing the wealth distributions of the U.S., where the richest 20 percent controlled about 84 percent of wealth, and Sweden, where the top 20 percent only controlled 36 percent of wealth. Without knowing which country they were picking, 92 percent of respondents said they'd rather live in a country with Sweden's wealth distribution."
income-distribution  income  wealth  inequality  american  distribution  poll 
january 2011 by tsuomela
Privacy isn’t a ‘right’ — It’s an Indulgence of the Wealthy | Doug Saunders
"It’s the poor who are forced to live with crime, violence, harassment from unstable and marginalized people — exactly the sort of stuff that these supposedly privacy-invading conveniences are designed to prevent. When your life is hard, privacy equals isolation equals death. If you consider it a right, it’s a pretty good sign that you’ve got too much money and too little to worry about."
privacy  income  poverty 
december 2010 by tsuomela
The Rich Are Bad for Your Health by Jonathan Kay - The Literary Review of Canada
Extreme income inequality does not just destabilize economies. According to the experts cited in The Trouble with Billionaires, it also is statistically associated with a wide range of social ills including crime, mental illness, infant mortality and reduced longevity. Income inequality decreases overall levels of societal trust—since people tend to feel disconnected from individuals who lie outside their socioeconomic stratum—and exacerbates the anxiety that springs from class envy. Societies with high levels of income inequality also tend to exhibit low class mobility. This helps explain why it is now easier for a poor person to become rich in Canada and the more socialist countries of Scandinavia than in the laissez-faire United States, where income inequality has soared to the stratospheric levels once reserved for Latin America.
wealth  income-distribution  income  equality  economics  health 
december 2010 by tsuomela
What Can International Cricket Teach Us About the Role of Luck in Labor Markets?
How important is luck in determining labor market outcomes? We address this question using a new dataset of all international test cricketers who debuted between 1950 and 1985. We present evidence that a player’s debut performance is strongly affected by an exogenous source of variation: whether the debut series is played at home or abroad. This allows us to identify the role of luck - factors unrelated to ability - in shaping future career outcomes. We find that players lucky enough to debut at home perform significantly better on debut. Moreover, debut performance has a large and persistent impact on long run career outcomes. We also make headway in empirically distinguishing between competing explanations for why exogenous initial conditions exercise a persistent impact on career performance
career  cricket  money  sports  wealth  income 
november 2010 by tsuomela
Too Big to Sail? | Culture | Vanity Fair
The financial crisis sent panic through the world of super-yachts, with over-leveraged tycoons abandoning ship, and sales in a deep freeze. Two years later, the author delves into the motives, means, and lifestyles of the oligarchs, operators, and sea-lovers who are still riding the waves. Choose your vessel: from the naked aggression of Roman Abramovich’s record-size Eclipse, the floating advertisement of the Candy brothers’ Candyscape II, and the eye-popping Jeff Koons exterior of Dakis Joannou’s Guilty to the pure romance of Tara Getty’s historic Blue Bird.
wealth  income  rich  class  yacht  economics 
october 2010 by tsuomela
interfluidity » Using multiple price indexes to measure changes in inequality is not a good idea
It is basically a bad idea to try to measure “real income inequality” with price indices, because the consumption-related welfare of the poor is so much more sensitive to changes in income than that of the rich. Variations in consumption or spending that generate small changes in quality of life among the wealthy generate large variations in nutrition, health, education, and shelter among the poor. If you think consumption inequality is all that matters, you should just not pay any attention to what’s going o
income  income-distribution  econometrics  economics  inflation  politics 
october 2010 by tsuomela
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