income inequality

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More on poor vs. wealthy

In their statements about income inequality, most people ignore what I covered yesterday: the measurements of poverty almost invariably are based on income, not true poverty as measured by actual resources and consumption.

They appear to be stating that the only reason the wealthy have money is because they steal from the poor. That’s not born out by the evidence on upward mobility.

Our analysis of new administrative records on income shows that children entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution relative to their parents as children born in the 1970s. Putting together our results with evidence from Hertz (2007) and Lee and Solon (2009) that intergenerational elasticities of income did not change significantly between the 1950 and 1970 birth cohorts, we conclude that rank-based measures of social mobility have remained remarkably stable over the second half of the twentieth century in the United States. In light of the findings in our companion paper on the geography of mobility (CHKS), the key issue is not that prospects for upward mobility are declining but rather that some regions of the U.S. persistently offer less mobility than most other developed countries.”

It turns out that research indicates that conservative cities not only grow faster than liberal cities, but have better chances of upward mobility.

That same Brookings Institute referred to yesterday has reported what it takes to become middle class by US standards: graduate high school, get married before having children, and get a job..

We know what encourages learning and successful education. It’s not only money, although the bulk of education dollars should go to the classroom rather than the administration. The extent of parental involvement and prioritizing education is number one, along with a belief in the importance of attendance.

I hope this information helps you the next time someone implies that the income inequality in the US is caused by the aggression of the wealthy.

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