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The United States, as I have shown over the past week (e.g., here, here, and here), has an obscenely unequal distribution of wealth. As illustrated in the chart above, the members of the bottom 90 percent own only 27.8 percent of total household wealth, while the bulk of the wealth is held by the top […]

The latest Federal Reserve Board’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances (pdf) is out and the news is not good—at least for the majority of Americans. They’re falling further and further behind those at the top. Sure, on the surface, the results for the latest period of recovery from the Second Great Depression appear to be […]

Almost very time MFA hears a mainstream economist speak—on topics ranging from the danger of raising the minimum wage to how we all benefit from free trade and globalization—she responds, “Where did they get their degree, from a Cracker Jack box?” No doubt, she’d react in the same manner if she listened to the members […]

We’ve long known there is a strong correlation between growing up in poverty and low academic achievement. Thus, for example, children living in poverty tend to have lower scores on standardized tests, lower grades, and are less likely to graduate from high school or go on to college. Now we’re learning that that there is a correlation between poverty […]

The effects of climate change are, as we know, distributed unequally across locations. Therefore, the damages from climate change—in terms of agriculture, crime, coastal storms, energy, human mortality, and labor—are expected to increase world inequality, by generating a large transfer of value northward and westward from poor to rich countries. What about within countries—specifically, the […]

Themes of 2016

Posted: 6 January 2017 in Uncategorized

Looking back over the past year, here are the ten major themes I found in my blog posts: inequality critique of mainstream economics the U.S. presidential election, especially Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump class and surplus epistemology, especially uncertainty utopia working-class corporations and capital academy critique of liberalism We’ll see what happens in the current year. . […]

Income inequality continues to grow in the United States—which represents the very definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” According to recent data by Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman, from 1979 through 2006, the share of pre-tax income going to the bottom 50 percent of U.S. households fell […]

Class issues became central to the 2016 presidential campaign in ways that I can’t recall for any other election in my lifetime. And even now, during the post-election debate, the references to class remain widespread. It’s not that the discussion of class in relation to the election has been particularly interesting or revealing. Americans, especially political pundits, still […]

I understand readers’ attention is mostly focused on today’s election. However, it is not too soon to look beyond the results themselves, to consider the economic policies of the new administration. If Hillary Clinton is elected (as seems likely), reducing “labor market monopsony” appears to be one of the directions economic policy will be going.   For decades […]

Mainstream economists have finally discovered the importance of institutions. But they get it all wrong. Take Daron Acemoglu (of MIT) and Jim Robinson (of the University of Chicago). In their view (according to Adam Davidson), Donald Trump threatens to disrupt the institutions that serve as the basis of “American Exceptionalism.” The problem is, the United States does […]