Economic Inequality

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© Mike Konopacki

Trickle Down Economics

Definition: Being pissed on from a great height.

Myth: Cutting taxes for the rich trickles down and spurs economic growth.
Reality: This stubborn myth, made famous by Arthur Laffer in the 1980s, gets repeatedly almost daily. The Congressional Research ServiceWikipedia-W.svg looked at every tax cut over the past 65 years and found zero correlation between tax cuts and economic growth. Instead, they found that cutting taxes for the rich makes the rich richer. The Institute on Taxation and Economic PolicyWikipedia-W.svg looked at state tax cuts and came to the same conclusion.ref See Trickle-down economicsWikipedia-W.svg

Gender Pay Gap

  • Feb.28.2018: Gender pay gap: what we learned this week. As big firms are required for the first time to reveal their inequalities, we digest the results. Niko Kommenda, Josh Holder, Alexandra Topping, Caelainn Barr, The Guardian.

Excessive Salaries

Excessive CEO / Banker remuneration is, quite simply, theft from the taxpayer, theft from the shareholders, theft from bank investors and customers - and deeply immoral. Self-serving Mark Littlewood from the Institute of Economic Affairs, apologist for this shameless greed, advances his "arguments". YouTube, Feb.2012


  • May.13.2018: The Rich List: At last, the self-made triumph over old money. When the Rich List was first published in 1989 just 43% of the entries had made their money themselves and the surest way to a fortune was to be a landowner — preferably with a title. Today 94% of those in the Rich List are self-made entrepreneurs behind some of Britain’s game-changing businesses. However, the success and transformation in the country that the Rich List highlights has attracted the ire of the Labour Party. Jim Ratcliffe, who tops today’s Rich List with wealth calculated at £21.05bn, epitomises the march of this new wave of self-made entrepreneurs, many of whom come from humble backgrounds. more Robert Watts, The Sunday Times.
  • May.08.2018: How basement-loving billionaires are forcing everyone else out. The vast foreign wealth in London doesn’t trickle down, it displaces. Opulent basements contrast with the glorified cellars in which many people live. There is an argument that the concentration of billionaires in certain areas of the capital has had little impact on the housing crisis and is in fact positive, providing jobs and services and stimulating certain parts of the economy. But this is not the main impact: instead, the glut of foreign capital creates soaring inflation, distorting the housing market and raising property prices and rents throughout the city. This happens through a process of “trickle-down”. Wealth does indeed trickle down, but instead of benefiting the less well-off, as free marketeers claimed it would, it displaces them. So the extreme wealth of the basement billionaires is directly linked to plummeting levels of home ownership, high rents and poor conditions. The gulf between the lifestyles of the super-rich and the rest of us is vast. These economic processes, which some refer to as gentrification and others call social cleansing, are taking place throughout London and other British cities. They are the consequence of very large injections of unregulated foreign investment, in tandem with local authority-led regeneration strategies. It is difficult to argue that the presence of such large concentrations of extreme wealth is beneficial to any city, because wealth does not trickle down, it displaces. The Guardian.
  • Apr.07.2018: Time to Rewrite the Rules. APPG on Inclusive Growth Research suggests British people worried by growing political power of global super-rich. After months of planning, its a great privilege to host you here to the Robing Room of the House of Lords for what I believe is the first gathering of international gathering of Parliamentarians devoted to exploring the question of just what is it we need to do, to build a more equal economy. Today, our marketplace is not working. It may be a free market. But it is not a fair market. And so it is time we rewrote the rules for how it works - because spiralling inequality now threatens the common good. Let me explain why. Barbara Keeley, Liam Byrne, APPG Inclusive Growth.
  • Jan.22.2018: The 3 Richest Americans Have as Much Money as the Bottom 50%. The richest 1% of the global population received 82% of wealth created in 2017, while nothing went to the poorest half (3.7 billion) of humanity, according to a new study by the global charity Oxfam. The report was published on Monday to coincide with the Jan.23 start of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in the snow-covered town of Davos, Switzerland. Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam’s executive director, told Reuters: "The report reveals how our economies are rewarding wealth rather than the hard work of millions of people. The few at the top get richer and richer and the millions at the bottom are trapped in poverty wages." The report also found that the three richest people in the U.S. own the same amount as the bottom half of America's population. And while billionaire wealth rose by 13% a year from 2006-2015, ordinary workers saw their incomes rise by an average of 2% a year. The number of people living in extreme poverty has halved between 1990 and 2010, but according to the charity, "had inequality within countries not grown during that period, an extra 200 million people would have escaped poverty." Tara John, Time.
  • Jan.22.2018: Oxfam should start putting people before ideology. In 1980, 40% of the world’s population lived in abject poverty, surviving on less than $2 a day. Today, only 8% do. The past 40 years have seen the most dramatic reduction in poverty in the history of mankind. The coincidence of neoliberalism and rapidly declining poverty is not a mere coincidence. Nevertheless, Oxfam opposes neoliberalism and the globalisation that it promotes. (... ...) Jamie Whyte, The Times.
  • Jan.02.2018: Do globalisation and world trade fuel inequality? Rising inequality since the 1980s is clearly a serious problem that merits political attention. But focusing solely on trade is not the way to resolve it. Jeffrey Frankel, The Guardian.
  • Jun.28.2017: Inequality: how we got here, and what should be done. The richest 10% of households hold 45% of all wealth and the poorest 50% have 8.7%. What we face in the UK and elsewhere in the EU is a situation of deep and growing income and wealth inequality which in part has its origins in globalised trade but also in trends in technological development that substituted precarious work for previously well paid and secure employment. But we also witness govts both in the UK and across the EU following tax policies that are increasingly regressive in their impact, with greater dependence on indirect taxes and reductions in the degree of tax progressivism in income taxes. Des Cohen, Open Democracy.
  • May.17.2015: Nick Hanauer on Inequality, YouTube
  • May.30.2017: The Facts: Inequality. Inequality has become a hot topic. There is a huge amount of evidence that inequality is extreme and increasing, which is harmful for both the economy and society. Here are some key facts about inequality in the UK. (Infographics). CLASS.
  • May.30.2017: The Facts: Youth Prospects Young people face an increasingly hostile world. From wages, to housing, to pensions, young people today face greater obstacles than their parents. Here are some key facts about youth prospects in the UK. CLASS.

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