Startling figures of inequality in India offer an incomplete picture (Column: Active Voice)

Startling figures of inequality in India offer an incomplete picture (Column: Active Voice)

The data released by the Bloomberg Billionaire Index reveals some shocking statistics about the rise of inequality in India. It showed that the top 20 industrialists in India added a staggering $50 billion to their combined wealth in the first seven months this year, taking their total valuation to $200 billion — roughly 10 percent of India’s $2 trillion economy.

Similarly, an Oxfam report released this year revealed that 57 billionaires in India own as much as the bottom 70 percent of the population and, more broadly, the richest one percent holds 58 percent of […]

Even More Evidence the US Is a Kleptocracy, Not a Meritocracy


Inequality is much worse than we’re led to believe by a dismissive business media. The numbers are hellish, and they’re growing.

1. The Extreme Wealth Gap is Still Expanding

The U.S. has gained $30 trillion in wealth since 2008, about half of it in the stock market , much of the remainder in real estate holdings. Based on prior analyses , data from Credit Suisse and Forbes , and recent work by Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman, it’s a rather simple process to estimate the distribution of our nation’s wealth over that time period. The following are […]

This American Town Was Left to Die, and Suddenly Economists Care


Suppose a bunch of economists were to show up in the Virginia town of South Boston to preach the benefits of free trade. How would local people react?

In an old, red-brick tobacco warehouse near the Dan River, W.W. “Ted” Bennett Jr. ponders the question. The former state delegate looks over his shoulder, squints a bit, then says with southern understatement: “I think it would be pretty rough.”

After decades of hewing to free-market fundamentalism on everything from trade to deregulation, mainstream economists are waking up to the distributional consequences of the policies they’ve championed. In towns such as South Boston, […]

Megatrend: The shift to emerging markets


Short on time? Here are the highlights: The world is in the midst of a global power and population shift from developed to emerging economies

Led by China and India, the world’s largest emerging economies will, in combination, be significantly larger than the combined G7 economies by the middle of this century

This shift is already beginning to have a profound effect on patterns of international student mobility Economic and population growth are shaking up the global power structure – away from the G7 countries and towards Asia, Africa, and Latin America.According to PwC projections , […]

Want to help people? Focus on economic mobility, not inequality

Want to help people? Focus on economic mobility, not inequality

© Getty Images Both in the United States and around the world, income inequality and economic mobility have been thrust into the center of the most relevant policy conversations of our time. Political leaders from Presdient Obama and Pope Francis to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and British Labor Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn are quick to discuss inequality as the main culprit of our current economic and social problems.

That focus on inequality, while well-intentioned, has resulted in policies that have taken a toll on a different policy goal: ensuring that everyone has a fair shot at moving up the income […]

A Big Legacy: Wealth In Europe

Anita Tiefensee

Anita Tiefensee The material prosperity of people consists of two main resources: income and wealth. The possession of wealth, in particular, offers extended consumption options, can make good a loss of income and secures one’s own pension – for example, via owner-occupied housing. Furthermore, it can finance the education of children and is built up to enable bequests. Thus, wealth creates a financial independence and great wealth may enhance economic and political power. Therefore, knowledge of the distribution of wealth and its key determinants represents an important factor in the decision-making of social and political actors. So, what does […]

How Civil Asset Forfeiture Reduces Economic Mobility


Income mobility in the United States has stagnated, a fact that hurts the poor most of all. If President Trump wishes to keep his promises to help low-income Americans escape poverty, he should instruct his administration to jettison, rather than expand, non-criminal asset forfeiture.

Non-criminal asset forfeiture lets government agents seize Americans’ assets (cash, but also cars and even houses) on the mere suspicion that they were involved in a crime. Asset forfeiture is intended to deprive criminals of their ill-gotten gains, but frequently enables police to take the property of Americans who remain innocent in the eyes of the […]

It’s The Inequality, Stupid

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. (IMAGE: Veni, Flickr).

With every week seemingly bringing fresh embarrassment, Ben Eltham looks at the core issue that is really plaguing the Turnbull Government.

It’s been a winter of discontent for the government.

The Prime Minister was in the middle of a week-long tour through Western Australia , a crucial state for the Coalition that contains many seats it will need to hold at the next election. But try as he might to talk about the government’s achievements, every question from the media seems to revolve upon Liberal disunity.And that was before the leaked tape dropped of his conversation with Donald Trump about the […]

Academic motivation suffers when economic mobility seems out of reach


From the Northwestern University press release: New studies from Northwestern University show that high school and college students from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds are much less motivated to overcome academic hardships when they have doubts about the likelihood of people from their backgrounds achieving upward mobility . The new studies extend previous research demonstrating that low-SES students who see education as a viable path to upward mobility are more inclined to succeed in their educational pursuits despite the numerous academic barriers facing students from disadvantaged backgrounds. “Prior research has shown that students from low-SES backgrounds are motivated to […]

Struggling Americans Once Sought Greener Pastures—Now They’re Stuck


WEST BRANCH, Mich.—When she graduated from high school, Taylor Tibbetts was a bright star in this small Northern Michigan town. She won an $18,000-a-year swimming scholarship to Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C., and departed for her freshman year with high hopes.

Once on campus, however, she felt overwhelmed by her courses and scared and isolated among students from all over the country with different values. After just a week, her mother reluctantly agreed to bring her home.

Three years later, sitting on a vinyl booth at her family’s pizzeria in West Branch where she now works, Ms. Tibbetts, 21, says she […]