say I think the intuition<font color="#CCCCCC"> that inequality</font><font color="#E5E5E5"> is</font> <font color="#E5E5E5">divisive and socially corrosive has been</font> around since before<font color="#E5E5E5"> the French</font> Revolution<font color="#CCCCCC"> what’s</font><font color="#E5E5E5"> changed is we now can</font> <font color="#E5E5E5">look at the evidence</font><font color="#CCCCCC"> we can compare</font>
societies<font color="#E5E5E5"> more</font><font color="#CCCCCC"> and less equal societies</font> and see what inequality does<font color="#CCCCCC"> I’m going</font> <font color="#E5E5E5">to take you through that data</font><font color="#CCCCCC"> and then</font> explain why the links<font color="#CCCCCC"> that I think I’m</font> going<font color="#CCCCCC"> to be showing you exist</font><font color="#E5E5E5"> but first</font> see what<font color="#CCCCCC"> a miserable</font><font color="#E5E5E5"> lot we</font><font color="#CCCCCC"> are</font><font color="#E5E5E5"> I […]
Is it inequality we care about, or inequality of opportunity? (Michael Williamson/The Washington Post) Inequality may well be the issue of our time. But is it inequality of income we care about, or inequality of opportunity? And what is opportunity — the opportunity to do better than our parents, or better than ourselves at an earlier age, or does it mean doing better relative to everyone else? Can some of us get wealthier without making others poorer? Would inequality recede if we just had more economic growth?
These questions animate two new books. One is “ Dream Hoarders: How the […]
Illustration: Jonathan Bartlett Inequality is putting the American Dream in peril.
By Rebecca Beyer
M elissa Agnew lives in Charlotte, N.C., a city that ranks high on affordability scales. It’s said to be one of the most desirable places to purchase a home, and a top destination for job-seeking college graduates and newlyweds.But Agnew doesn’t own a home or have a college degree. She went through a painful divorce several years ago, and, even though she was working at the time, the city was anything but affordable for her when she suddenly became the sole breadwinner for her two […]
Marketplace (American Public Radio) presented findings from Harvard and Berkeley economists that studied the relationships between what people are taxed in each USA county, what services they get back, and whether children end up wealthier than their parents (inter-generational prosperity).
Where you are born has a big effect on whether you will prosper more than your parents. Intergenerational mobility (DARKER counties have LOWER mobility)
Darker counties have lower intergenerational economic mobility. Why do the South and the Midwest have such lower mobility, meaning that if you were born into a poor family, you are much more likely to remain poor, […]
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The UK-based, 1823-founded Lancet is the oldest, best known, and highly respected medical journal.
In early April, it examined the effects of racial discrimination, mass incarceration, economic inequality and lack of universal healthcare as factors in declining US health outcomes. Affordability puts proper care for serious illnesses increasingly out of reach for tens of millions. The Lancet explained a growing survival gap between rich and poor Americans – a difference of up to 15 […]
The U.S. political system faces a monumental challenge to its capacity fight off parasitic disease in the form of the Republican Party’s attempt to dismantle Obamacare and use the proceeds to enrich its biggest donors. Historically, it is rare for democracies to establish a widely beneficial entitlement, then to have a major political party attempt to simultaneously roll back those services and redistribute resources to the most affluent members of society, intentionally exacerbating inequalities that have been growing for decades.
It is all the more ironic given that the president of the United States, who campaigned on the claim that […]
Time to Change, the latest Social Mobility Commission report, states that radical reform is needed to repair a divided Britain, arguing that decades of policy failures have left the poor behind ( Report, 28 June). But increasing social mobility would not repair this divide, it would increase it. Effective social mobility leaves the poor even further behind, as it depletes the working classes of those who are able to achieve educational success against the odds. The remorseless focus on aspiration and bettering oneself results in a phenomenon that the report also highlights: the large numbers of graduates from working-class […]
Blacks demanded “decent housing now” at the March on Washington in 1963. They are still waiting. All Americans have been promised the right to pursue their own happiness. Implicit in that promise is a guarantee that we should all have the opportunities to make the most of our abilities and our effort.
The promise of the Declaration of Independence isn’t the certainty that we will all live happily ever after, but that we’ll have just the chance to pursue our happiness. It’s the opportunity, not the outcome, that’s an inalienable right.
But, sadly, our nation is still a long way from […]
Social mobility policies have failed to significantly reduce inequality between rich and poor despite two decades of interventions by successive governments, according to a highly critical new report.
The study by the government’s Social Mobility Commission warns that without radical and urgent reform, the social and economic divisions in British society will widen even further, threatening community cohesion and economic prosperity.
And it highlights new divides that have opened up in the UK, further fragmenting society – geographically, and between income groups and different generations.Alan Milburn, chair of the commission, said that for two decades Labour and Conservative governments had not […]
Americans are generally thought to view the economic system as fair and see wealth as a reward for ability and effort, while Europeans tend to believe that the economic system is unfair, and that wealth is the result of circumstances. This column tests this using new evidence on beliefs about intergenerational mobility in four European countries and the US, and confirms that Europeans do indeed tend to be overly pessimistic about moving up the social ladder compared to reality, while Americans are overly optimistic. These perceptions have important implications for how redistribution and equal opportunity policies will be received.