While the Econ tribe meets. . .

Posted: 6 January 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

While the members of the Econ tribe meet in Chicago—violating the boycott of the Hyatt Regency and gazing at their reflections in Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate—they might ponder the following:

  • If the best they can do to explain the inequality in the distribution of income—and thus make, once again, a case against income redistribution—is Matthew Weinzierl’s (via Greg Mankiw) “preference heterogeneity.”
  • The effects of austerity policies in Europe, which have sent unemployment in the eurozone to a record 16 million people, up 587,000 on November of 2010. According to Eurostat, the highest increases in unemployment were registered in Greece (13.3 percent to 18.8 percent between September 2010 and September 2011), Cyprus (6.0 percent to 9.1 percent), and Spain (20.4 percent to 22.9 percent). And it’s not just the eurozone: 23.7 million people were out of work across the European Union as a whole in November, an increase of 723,000 over a year earlier.
  • As for the United States, not only has economic inequality risen over course of the last three decades; Americans enjoy less economic mobility than their peers in Canada and much of Western Europe.

The elders of the Econ tribe have shown they can’t be trusted to think seriously about these issues. I wonder if the younger ones will follow in their footsteps—or, alternatively, respect the Hyatt Regency boycott, look beyond their distorted reflections in Millenium Park, and take up the class issues in economics.

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