Inequality, take II
So what I was saying yesterday is that graphs like this don't intrinsically bother me:
What is worrying to me is how we got to this graph, as described here:
CBO finds that, between 1979 and 2007, income grew by:
275 percent for the top 1 percent of households,
65 percent for the next 19 percent,
Just under 40 percent for the next 60 percent, and
18 percent for the bottom 20 percent.
If we had gotten to the graph via say 75% growth in the bottom quintile with correspondingly faster growth in the other groups, I'd see no no problem at all.
But we didn't.
Incomes in the lower part of the distribution are not really growing. 18% growth in 29 years stinks. 40% growth in 29 years is really not much better either.
To me, it's the lack of absolute improvement in incomes at the bottom of the distribution that we need to address, not the big growth at the top.
And I just don't see how hammering the 1 percent is going to sustainably raise income growth for the bottom 20-40 percent.
We need to fix public education, and the problem there is not really a lack of overall expenditures.
We need to not put so many young people in prison and the problem there is not a lack of expenditure.
We need stronger and more stable family lives for more children. I am not sure if greater expenditure would help here. Maybe.