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Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Impact of Growing Inequality

Lane Kenworthy and Timothy Smeeding issued this "Country Report for the United States" on the impact of growing inequality. It's a relatively long report with lots of tables and figures, but let me highlight one paragraph from the executive summary:

Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in the United States, by Lane Kenworthy Timothy Smeeding, Country Report for the United States: ... We conclude that living standards in the middle of the distribution were and are falling during the Great Recession . Moreover, with faint prospects of a rapid recovery, the losses of the Great Recession increasingly mount. The forecast is that unemployment will not return to 6.5 percent levels for another three years or longer. While the trend in inequality i n the United States has been ever upward, we believe that i t will be politically and socially difficult for U.S. inequality to continue to grow at the top at the expense of the collapsing middle class, the majority of whom believe , perhaps rightly so, that their children will be worse off economically than they are. If so, we might expect some moderation in the growth of United States inequality in the next decade.

I'm curious what you think about this. Are we on the verge of a populist uprising that result in "some moderation in the growth of United States inequality in the next decade," or will things continue along the present path for quite some time?

    Posted by on Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 11:20 AM in Economics, Income Distribution | Permalink  Comments (40)


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