or more specifically - income
inequality and related inequalities
This webpage needs more work
This web-page is linked to from my main ECONOMICS web-page.
NEWS: The recent publication of Thomas Piketty's "landmark" book in
English has raised the profile of income inequality:
main driver of inequality--the
tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth--today
threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and
undermine democratic values." << I here quote from the summary
description in Amazon's website of the book:
'Capital in the Twenty-First Century' by Thomas
Piketty, Arthur Goldhammer Books Amazon
web-page. Release date: 18mar14. I heard of this book from reading
this interesting article by Prof. Simon Wren-Lewis 'Inequality,
inheritance tax and the UK election battleground' in his Mainly
Macro blog, 15apr14.
I disagree with much in the 4th paragraph (especially its 4th sentence)
Piketty’s “Capital”, summarised in four paragraphs' - The
Head Talks Piketty With Bill Moyers - NYTimes.com video of Paul
Krugman & ... talking about Piketty's book.. <<< excellent
listening to Krugman. Agrees we are heading towards oligarchy [and away
from democracy] as huge wealth buys political power, buys politicians
[certainly in the US!].
(and income) in the 21st century' 'The first step to cutting
income inequality is to break the link between shareholder value and
executive pay' says author Simon Caulkin in ResPublica (thinktank). I
haven't read this but would like to.
More affordable (but is he
just jumping on the bandwagon to earn money &/or out across his own
'An Executive Summary of Thomas Piketty's 'Capital in the
Twenty-First Century'' A. D. Thibeault, Amazon
Part of Norman Housley's review of this summary book: "The key
point to emerge from Piketty, as far as I am concerned, is that he
thoroughly demolishes the trickle down claim of the free marketeers - trickle down does not
happen, instead capital accumulation cuts itself loose from
economic growth and becomes self-perpetuating and socially exclusive to
the nth degree. "
By co-incidence, the author's name reminds me of Kate Pickett
- co-author of 'The
Spirit Level' with first author Richard
Wilkinson - which I've been intending to read for many years
- as it covers income inequality v equality... I must summarize and link
here. Both these authors are co-founders of The
resources The Equality Trust
The Equality Trust - www.equalitytrust.org.uk
- excellent, e.g.:
lie that food poverty is caused by bad choices' - The Equality
A useful bit of data is from Oxfam, and its more recent update, giving
the number of people in the world with wealth in total that exceeds 50%
of the whole world's wealth - of billions of people. Oxfam's figure is
85 or thereabouts, and a more recent update is 67 or thereabouts. I need
to add the ref-links here when I have time.
These old files of mine have links to articles etc re inequality, which
I've yet to transfer here: http://www.dragonfly1.plus.com/EconomicsLINKS-2013.html and for pre-2013: http://www.dragonfly1.plus.com/LINKS.pdf - a big file (!) - but containing
numerous useful links to references, authors, NGOs and thinktanks on
The negative consequences of "growthism"
as Peter Cranie puts it, on
inequality and long-term sustainability on a planet with finite (as well
as renewable) natural resources.
The OECD on inequality: www.oecd.org/inequality.htm
NB: Inequality and GDP: An OECD study
report (2014?) found that increasing
inequality reduces GDP. Because austerity increases inequality,
and GDP has an effect on total tax revenue, this implies that austerity -
claimed by neoliberals/right-wing as a means of decreasing the deficit -
is a factor that pushes the deficit upwards by reducing the total tax
revenue via the route of increasing inequality and reducing GDP.
NB: AUSTERITY increases inequality. My
main economics web-page has notes and links on austerity.
A hotchpotch of unordered links:
INEQUALITY in relation to growth etc: UNCTAD - Trade and
Development Report 2012 United Nations - ‘Policies for inclusive and
balanced growth - Report by the secretariat of the United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development’ http://www.scribd.com/doc/108746707/UNCTAD-Trade-and-Development-Report-2012 also covers eg: The
interaction between unemployment and the wage share: 1. The traditional
approach: employment creation through wage restraint 2. The alternative
approach: wage growth as the key determinant of demand growth. “Higher
wages and lower inequality can stimulate demand and output growth …” +
read Conclusions pp166-7 -
versus austerity & neoliberalism! - via tweet to Monbiot by writer
for www.energyroyd.org.uk - and here’s Monbiot’s related piece:
Monbiot‘If you think we're done with neoliberalism, think
again’ George Monbiot
Comment is free The Guardian
The World's Richest 8% Earn Half of All
Planetary Income & The
1 per cent has seen its real income rise by more than 60 per cent over
those two decades.
Alternet 28may13 http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/worlds-richest-8-earn-half-all-planetary-income
WAGE: Paying the Living Wage benefits business as well
as employees 4nov13 new economics foundation
public wrongly believe rich pay most in tax, new research shows'
Katie Allen 16jun14 Money theguardian.com Thx4spotting
that one Gwen! Refers to:
inequality is among the highest in the developed world and evidence
shows that this is bad for almost everyone.' June 2014 The
Most of this web-page concerns income inequalities, but there are other
inequalities too of course.
not consensus, may be the key to fighting climate change'
"Inequalities are worsening thanks to the environmental crisis. But this
injustice may be our most powerful lever for action" - Razmig
Keucheyan 5may14 Comment is free theguardian.com. My
response: But the guys who are bringing about climate change the most are
1. the ones least affected thus least concerned to do anything about
stopping it, 2. the ones with the most power, and power that's increasing
with the increase in inequality.
Academic discussions and debates
on economics and inequality
Warning - these can be a
struggle for non-economists (or those who haven't done a big course in
economics - like me) as they are full of economics jargon and
assumptions of your existing knowledge and understanding of the
decades-long threads of debate on this.
Some of these can be a potential waste of time to study as many orthodox sensu
lato economists often get detached from the wider considerations
such as 1. economic growth and productivity are not good measures of what
is best for all of us, and there are other values and resources that are
of importance which don't fit into GDP figures, many of which can't be
reduced to money terms (e.g. some are free yet vital), 2. economics partly
concerns ways how resources and items of utility can be distributed, yet
not all such resources are easily measurable, and many are finite
resources, 3. what is important for humans and wildlife in the global
long-term (e.g. long-term sustainability [environmental] consideration in
relation to distribution and use of resources) needs to be taken into
account but often appears to be disregarded by economists (nef - the New
Economics Foundation for example being an exception to this criticism).
Prof. Simon Wren-Lewis 'Pareto,
Inequality and Government Debt - or is economics inherently
right wing?' (in his blog Mainly Macro). Includes ref to welfare theorems
efficiency - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Try and spot the pitfalls in putting too much emphasis on restricting
changes to those that make gains in pareto efficiency towards "pareto
Such as the state of distribution of the resource(s) at the start point,
the potential for "blinkering" from consideration of other values than the
materialistic ones under consideration, knock-on consequences - including
consequential feedbacks both positive and negative, which might be via
other things than those being considered, that whether the resource "cake"
is fixed [zero-sum game scenario] or expandable, and if the latter,
whether there is an upper limit [I refer for example to those global
natural resource assets that are finite not renewable]).
theorems of welfare economics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,
includes mention of the Greenwald-Stiglitz theorem etc.