Thursday, July 3, 2008

US income inequality snapshot

Here is a snapshot of the rising income inequality and extreme concentration of wealth in the US.

Update 1
Here is an enquiry into the reasons for the widening rich-poor gap in the US.

Update 2
Uwe Reinhardt has this excellent post on inequality and widening, albeit not-salient, role of Government in American lives.

Update 3
Edward Gleaser, Alberto Alesina and Eduardo Porter believe that racial, ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity has been responsible for the much lower support for redistribution of income and social welfare programs in the United States compared to homogenous Europe. This may also explain the success of left-wing parties in Europe relative to the US. See also this and this.

Update 4 (22/7/2010)
Snapshot of income inequality in the US. See also this.


farhang said...

Thanks for this informative blog.
As far as words of James Surowiecki and Feldstien is concerned, i may say they used a correct economic logics, but they were not familiar enough with the situation of commodities like oil and its storage. Oil is not a kind of commodity that you can keep it underground by stopping the production and release it after the price increase. You can't stop the production, otherwise you will loose the production capability, because your wells will be gone and destroyed taking so long time and costs to be back.
Part 4):
Yes, decline in dollar value is a big contributer, but it is not the cause, but the effect of geopolitical problems, wars and political tensions that pushed US toward taking wrong financial policies and decisions.
Part 5):
Holding crude in tanker fleet or gasoline in tanks of automobiles or basements of the houses may have short time effects at the beginning, but after a while you find a steady amount of storage, therefore it is not effective in long run like from 2000 to 2008...
Therefore, the main or i may say the only cause of price increase in every thing including oil, food, metals, etc. is the political tensions made by Neo Cons in recent years.
Let's end wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palistine, and end playing game with Iran, then see there will be lower price of every thing.
We may manage the world so that there won't be any poor down there even in the poorest African nations...
Thanks again

gulzar said...

I agree there are other reasons for the rising oil prices, and oil politics is one of the major reasons feeding the "shortage psychology". I was only trying to list out some of the less discussed, but contributing factors.