Income Inequality

  • 01.17.17

    Senator Bernie Sanders' MLK Address

    On MLK day 2017 Senator Sanders gave a speech recognizing the work done by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. including issues that he fought for that are still relevant to politics today. The Senator addresses the vision that many people have of MLK and talks about some of his less well known, but still important, initia...

    On MLK day 2017 Senator Sanders gave a speech recognizing the work done by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. including issues that he fought for that are still relevant to politics today.

    The Senator addresses the vision that many people have of MLK and talks about some of his less well known, but still important, initiatives. "It is easy for us today in the year 2017 as the whole country celebrates Dr. King to forget that in the last few years of his life if you think that Governors and Senators and Mayors were standing up saying what a great man Dr. King was, read history because you are sorely mistaken." Senator Sanders specifically looks at Dr. Martin Luther King's commitment to poor people and protests against the Vietnam war in the last years of his life.

  • 10.02.16

    Facing Up To Income Inequality

    Jeffrey Sachs begins this article with a description of stagnating incomes "While household median incomes have stagnated since the late 1990s, the inflation-adjusted earnings of poorer households have stagnated for even longer, roughly 40 years" while higher income households have seen substantial increases. Sac...

    Jeffrey Sachs begins this article with a description of stagnating incomes "While household median incomes have stagnated since the late 1990s, the inflation-adjusted earnings of poorer households have stagnated for even longer, roughly 40 years" while higher income households have seen substantial increases. 

    Sachs describes that there are three main factors that contribute to this income inequality: technology, trade, and politics.

    Technology has raised demand for higher skilled, higher educated workers and has increased income for those groups while leaving other groups behind. While trade has increased competition for lower skilled industrial workers. Finally, politics in the United States has not tended to favor the working class and instead it benefits those who can pay for lobbying.

    Sachs then investigates the policies in the U.S. compared to those in other countries using the Gini index (a measure of income inequality varies between 0 - full income equality across households, and 1 - full-income inequality, in which one household has all the income) to compare countries both through market income and disposable income. He finds that the net distibution in the U.S. is especially low when compared to many other first world countries and ends with the statement that "these income comparisons underscore that America's high inequality is a choice, not an irreversible law of modern world economy."

     

  • 09.27.13

    Inequality For All: A Visual Story

    To compliment his film Inequality for All, Robert Reich put together this visual story to demonstrate and shine light on the economic inequality in the United States....

    To compliment his film Inequality for All, Robert Reich put together this visual story to demonstrate and shine light on the economic inequality in the United States. 

    Inequality for all 1

  • 09.20.13

    Inequality For All: Interview With Bill Moyer

    In this video, Bill Moyers talks with Economic analyst Robert Reich about the new film Inequality for All. Reich talks about the ideas within the film and why he used this medium to communicate about income inequality in the United States. Ultimately, Reich wants to educate his viewers about the economy, what ha...

    In this video, Bill Moyers talks with Economic analyst Robert Reich about the new film Inequality for All. 

    Reich talks about the ideas within the film and why he used this medium to communicate about income inequality in the United States.

    Ultimately, Reich wants to educate his viewers about the economy, what has happened with income inequality in the last couple decades and what can be done to benefit workers, the middle class, and "the little guy."

  • 10.24.11

    How Economic Inequality Harms Societies

    In this Ted Talk from 2011 Richard Wilkinson, Wilkinson describes the correlation between income inequality and social problems. A common misperception is that the richer a country is, the better-off the citizens of that country are. Wilkinson disproves this notion and shows that there is no correlation between l...

    In this Ted Talk from 2011 Richard Wilkinson, Wilkinson describes the correlation between income inequality and social problems.

    A common misperception is that the richer a country is, the better-off the citizens of that country are.  Wilkinson disproves this notion and shows that there is no correlation between life expectancy and the average income of a country.

    Instead, he shows that there is a strong correlation between income inequality and a number of social  problem that he and his team combined and called the "Index of Health and Social Problems". This correlation is true for each of the social problems he mentions: life expectancy, math & literacy, infant mortality, homicides, imprisonment, teenage births, trust, obesity, mental illness - including drug and alcohol addiction and social mobility. He finds that "the more unequal countries are doing worse on social problems."

    Wilkinson takes his analysis a step further and looks at the American states. The conclusion remains the same - the more unequal the state, the worse it performs on the social measures. 

    He concludes with the notion that "We can improve the quality of human life by reducing the differences in income between us."

  • 10.24.11

    From Frustration To Prosperity

    "The American people are frustrated." In this article the Honorable Nina Turner looks at the frustration of the lower and middle class - those that have been worst hurt by the recession and slow recovery. She states "They are frustrated about the flat-lined economic recovery, the lack of jobs and the failed hous...

    "The American people are frustrated."

    In this article the Honorable Nina Turner looks at the frustration of the lower and middle class - those that have been worst hurt by the recession and slow recovery. She states "They are frustrated about the flat-lined economic recovery, the lack of jobs and the failed housing market.  They are frustrated that while they struggle to pay their bills with stagnant or falling incomes those at the top have rebounded; surviving the crisis relatively unscathed." Turner argues that this frustration has shown itself in both the Occupy and Tea Party movement. 

    Turner offers examples of what the private sector and government can do to address these ails. Ultimately she argues that "to do nothing is to fall behind, but by making strategic investments now we can maintain our competitive edge and lay a foundation of prosperity for generations to come."

    Americans "are fed up, and they have decided that they are not going to take it anymore."