Thursday, February 8, 2007

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Your inequality readings for today

Brad DeLong posts a preliminary bibliography of what he thinks are salient readings about economic inequality in the United States.

Over at Cato Unbound, Alan Reynolds tangles with his critics over his assertion that inequality has not increased substantially since 1988.

Go forth and read.

posted by Dan on 02.08.07 at 09:23 AM


Professor Drezner,

Great blog! I have been a frequent visitor over the last month, and enjoy your insights. Keep up the good work.

Most of the preliminary bibliography contains the work of Paul Krugman. Are there other studies and readings for the Global Inequality?

I am aware that Sala-i-Martin published a paper in the 90's where he argued that global inequality has actually fallen and used various methods to calculate this. On the other side, Stiglitz has been overly critical of such methods (recent attended lecture at I house NY) and is very skeptical of such statements.

posted by: Gaurav Monga (LSE/Columbia) on 02.08.07 at 09:23 AM [permalink]

A list that is dominated by non-scholarly articles written by Paul Krugman doesn't inspire much confidence. Of course, if I pointed this out on DeLong's website, he would delete the comment. You may not disagree with Brad DeLong!

posted by: y81 on 02.08.07 at 09:23 AM [permalink]

I find that Dr. Evil style estimates help to put this argument in perspective: $1,000,000,000. 1 Billion dollars. 1000 Million dollar increments.

Seriously, with a Billion dollars if I spent a million dollars a year it would take what, one THOUSAND years to spend it all?..... 1 million a year for 1 THOUSAND years?

So how many people think 1 Million dollars is not really a lot a money to have for a years worth of income?

How many people would "struggle" on 1 million dollars a year?

Hell, how many people would find life difficult on $100,000 a year?

How many families of four or more live on less than $50,000 a year?

So does anyone in this country need 1 Billion dollars? We see arguments over minimum wage all the time but never arguments about maximum income caps or appropriate net worth per population ratios. God forbid! That would upset the natural order of our market system. Bullshit. The system is broke already.

Here are growth in the numbers of billionaires in the US:

1982 13
1983 15
1984 12
1985 13
1986 26
1987 49
1988 68
1989 82
1990 99

We have come to the point where arguing income inequality from the point of view of how poor the truly poor are isn't even necessary. The obscene wealth distribution at the top has become so lopsided that it's the most obvious sign that we are off course as a society.

posted by: Babar on 02.08.07 at 09:23 AM [permalink]

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