Recent popular demonstrations such as the Occupy Wall Street movement have made it clear that the high levels of inequality in the United States remain a pressing concern for many. While protesters have primarily focused their ire on private financial institutions, the Federal Reserve (Fed) has also been one of their primary targets. The prevalence … Continue reading »
Inequality has become the new hot topic over the last several years – in the media and in the research community. This post briefly reports several recent studies of inequality that tell us what’s been happening, why, and to what effect. (It’s not a cheery story.) Before that, notice how rapidly public attention – if … Continue reading »
A cost of inequality: growth
A recent story in The New York Times, back in its business section, had important news about inequality: “Income Inequality May Take Toll on Growth.” A couple of economists at the IMF reported research (here) showing that, across many countries, periods of greater income inequality tend to be followed by slow-downs in economic growth. This … Continue reading »
How bad is ‘European’?
GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been, as have other GOP candidates, castigating President Obama for presumably wanting to “Europeanize” the United States. On January 6, 2012, for example, Romney asserted that the President was “dragging ‘the soul of America’ toward a ‘European-style welfare state’.” Romney and others have accused the President of loving America … Continue reading »
The biggest question in America these days is how to revive the economy. The biggest question among activists now occupying Wall Street and dozens of other cities is how to strike back against the nation’s almost unprecedented concentration of income, wealth, and political power in the top 1 percent. The two questions are related. With … Continue reading »