With his $2-million purchase of a one-of-a-kind Wu Tang album, Martin Shkreli continues to personify our staggeringly unequal society.
We should institute a direct tax on immense wealth, an idea popularized by Thomas Piketty in his landmark book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. This would both increase tax fairness and raise revenue.
With outright lies dominating estate tax debate on Capitol Hill, two Washington Post columnists have different takes on the untruths of the anti-tax crowd.
Staging an Olympics in Boston could help reduce the wealth gap, but only if planners identify the interventions that could reduce the city’s most basic disparities.
Though several members of Congress lauded the 2015 Congressional spending bill as reassuring evidence of bipartisan cooperation, the bill was actually just a holiday giveaway to the 1 percent.
Everybody knows that the United States has become much more unequal since 1980. Can we expect the nation to get still more unequal? Unfortunately, yes. With top 1 percent incomes growing faster than the incomes of everyone else, increasing inequality will be inevitable.
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).
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).
In his surprise best-seller, Thomas Piketty warns that growing wealth inequality will have a corrosive impact on our democratic institutions.
Today’s super rich engorge themselves on federal dollars and evade billions in taxes while ordinary Americans work themselves to the bone. Professor of Law and Public Policy Sheila Suess Kennedy maintains it’s high time we rethink who are the ‘makers’ and the ‘takers.’
Pundits usually have income in mind when they talk about the top 1 percent. And analysts sometimes rank our richest by wealth. But Duke University sociologist Lisa Keister points out that if we really want to understand privilege, we need to start looking at both.
If you give a dollar to a middle class family, that family will spend that dollar in the local economy and spur growth.
The California Constitution says the water belongs to the people. Yet the state gives water almost free to agriculture–resulting in enormous waste and dire “shortages” during droughts. If the state were to charge for water, that would end the water crisis–and solve California’s fiscal crisis too.
The new Congressional Budget Office report projects that the Affordable Care Act will lead to a decline in full-time equivalent workers of 2.5 million. This is people voluntarily deciding to work less–like mothers with small children, or workers in poor health or close to retirement. That should mean higher wages for the remaining workers.
QE is supposed to stimulate the economy by encouraging investment with low interest money. That hasn’t happened, but why? Does no one want to borrow, or do banks not want to lend?
Making the market “decisive” means that the Chinese government has decided to place profits before people — and even before that previously invincible talisman, economic growth.
This year’s fast GDP growth underlines one of the great myths of economic statistics: the myth that growth benefits everyone, or at least most people.
In general, sales taxes are indeed regressive; moreover, as I recently argued, sales taxes are partly “passed back” onto suppliers, hitting small businesses hardest. But wait… Imagine that we impose a sales tax on diamonds. Would we worry about the burden on middle class purchasers of one-fourth-caret engagement rings? What about the part of the […]
Call their bluff. Take the plunge. Go over the cliff. Let the government default on its bonds.
Detroit’s property tax base, diminished and badly-assessed, could still fund a renewal if Michigan would only read its history and find the political will.
It was the perfect “natural experiment:” in April 1992, New Jersey’s minimum-wage was scheduled to rise from $4.25 an hour to $5.05, while neighboring Pennsylvania’s minimum wage remained unchanged.
America’s official poverty line has remained fixed in real terms for over 40 years. Despite this, poverty is higher than it was at the end of the 1960s.
The inequality and growth debate is a red herring. It just doesn’t matter. The problem is inequality, and its solution is simple.
Sales taxes — of whatever stripe — fall harder on poorer than richer customers. And they squeeze smaller retailers more than big ones.
How can sales of super-luxury cars grow at super-fast rates during a recession? The answer is simple: it’s not a recession for everyone.
Greed is not good, and high inequality is making all of us greedier than we should, or could, be.
Call it vote-buying if you want, but when a government effectively buys the votes of 80 or 90 percent of the population, I call that government of the people, by the people, for the people.
The corrupting influence of inequality isn’t confined to politics. It is everywhere.
Rising inequality is killing the dinosaurs – or at least what’s left of them.
How can things be so much worse now when the economy is essentially in the same place it was five or six years ago? The answer in two words is: Rising inequality.
Contrary to public perceptions, low-tax America has among the lowest rates of entrepreneurship in the world. Taxmaggedon would help most small businesses and begin to restore a sane level of taxation on America’s wealthy.
The reality is that High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes are exclusive – by design. If the so-called “Lexus Lanes” weren’t exclusive, they wouldn’t be hot.
For the past forty years American men’s incomes have stagnated, but women’s wages have risen. Unfortunately, the years of catch-up are now over. We need policies to raise wages for everyone.
Differences in the ways people live are only partly determined by income. They’re also determined by the levels of government services provided to everyone.
Chicago teachers’ wages are the focus of a major political battle – not because their salaries are out of line in a legitimate comparison – but because people are playing politics with teachers’ pay.
Virgin Galactic’s space tourism venture for the 1% will warm the world for the rest of us.
People shouldn’t be fooled by an attractive-sounding slogan. Free knowledge is not free; it’s knowledge paid for by those who want you to have it. It’s only free to consume, not to produce.
The fundamental problem in the eurozone isn’t Greek debt or Spanish banks. It’s low German wages.
Europeans must decide whether their societies are to be governed by the people, for the people or by the market, for the market.
Economists will give you all sorts of answers based on technical factors, but in the end it all comes down to one word: inequality.