America’s top central bankers didn’t make much time for inequality at their annual hobnob in Wyoming’s Jackson Hole last week. Over in Germany, at another confab, the world’s Nobel laureates in economics did. But few Americans seemed to notice. We explore one possible reason why.
The foreclosure epidemic illustrates a problem far larger and more pervasive than current banking practices: America’s growing power imbalance. In our deeply unbalanced economic world, we need to rethink policies that operate to penalize the powerless and reward the predatory.
Each week, millions of dollars are stolen from American families. The perpetrators act with impunity. There are no arrests, few convictions, and meaningless fines. What is this crime wave sweeping the nation? Wage theft. Some communities are now banding together to put an end to it.
If we want to solve the most pressing issues of our time, we need to change our national political discourse from one that focuses solely on competition, the market, and the individual, to one that focuses on the value of community, civil society, and the public good.
Wealth’s current tilt to the top sometimes seems almost eternal. But can our mature market economies ‘self-correct’? A provocative new paper out of the OECD, the developed world’s official economic research agency, contemplates our tomorrow if we let current trends play out.
A nationally prominent conservative academic is charging that critics of America’s top-heavy distribution of income and wealth are missing the bigger global picture. In the process, other economists are pointing out, he’s only fogging that picture up.
Many individuals helped construct neoclassical economics, often with financial support from the robber barons and their successors. I will focus on two: in the United States, John Bates Clark (1847-1938), and in Europe, Vilfredo Pareto (1848 to 1923).
Energy policies exacerbate inequality by placing the costs of climate change on the most vulnerable Americans. The general public bears the costs in both higher prices and higher taxes at the same time that fossil fuel companies continue to enjoy massive subsidies.
In Thomas Piketty’s doomsday model, slowing of growth in the twenty-first century will cause an inexorable increase in inequality. Piketty is not the first to propose a grand model of inequality and growth. To get some perspective on his model, let’s see what the “classical” economists had to say (Part I), and how the “neoclassical” economists responded (Part II).
Over 20 years ago, Fortune 500 CEO Harold MacInnes pledged not to take in pay any more than 14 times what his workers were making. A new UK CEO pay report has now placed back on the table the notion of capping executive compensation at a multiple of worker pay.