Study: Income Inequality Kills Economic Growth Corporate chieftains often claim that fixing the US economy requires signing new free trade deals, lowering government debt, and attracting lots of foreign investment. But a major new study has found that those things matter less than an economic driver that CEOs hate talking about: equality. "Countries where income was more equally distributed tended to have longer growth spells," says economist Andrew Berg, whose study appears in the current issue of Finance & Development, the quarterly magazine of the International Monetary Fund. Comparing six major economic variables across the world's economies, Berg found that equality of incomes was the most important factor in preventing a major downturn. (See top chart.) In their study, Berg and coauthor Jonathan Ostry were less interested in looking at how to spark economic growth than how to sustain it. So how important is equality? Berg and Ostry aren't the first economists to suggest that income inequality can torpedo the economy.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) Output in the Construction Industry, November 2015 In November 2015, output in the construction industry was estimated to have decreased by 0.5% compared with October 2015. All new work was the largest contributor to the fall, decreasing by 0.7%, with repair and maintenance (R&M) falling 0.2%. Index of Production, November 2015 Production output increased by 0.9% in November 2015 compared with November 2014. Manufacturing output decreased by 1.2% in November 2015 compared with November 2014. ONS Beta website available The ONS have been developing a new website to replace the current version. UK Trade, November 2015 The UK’s deficit on seasonally adjusted trade in goods and services was £3.2 billion in November 2015. Quarterly National Accounts, Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2015 UK gross domestic product in volume terms was estimated to have increased by 0.4% in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2015; revised from the previously published estimate of 0.5%. Balance of Payments, Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2015
The Fight Over Inequality The headline promised an article of critical importance: “Obama’s inequality argument just utterly collapsed.” James Pethokoukis, a conservative columnist and blogger at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote on April 11 that a new academic study put the lie to Democratic claims of endemic inequality and grotesquely distorted income gains by the top 1 percent. The “tax and regulatory policies of the past three decades,” he wrote, did not lead to stagnation for the middle class at the hands of the rapacious rich. Claims to the contrary — such as those made by Obama, the Occupy movement, and many liberal economists — never really passed the sniff test of anyone who lived through the past few decades. Pethokoukis’s claim is based on the findings of three scholars: Richard V. Pethokoukis is a hard-core adversary of the current administration. The continuing debate over social mobility and income distribution does not lend itself to facile conclusions. Congressional Budget Office Thomas B.
OpenPolitics Wealth doesn't trickle down – it just floods offshore, research reveals | Business | The Observer The world's super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy. James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has conducted groundbreaking new research for the Tax Justice Network campaign group – sifting through data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and private sector analysts to construct an alarming picture that shows capital flooding out of countries across the world and disappearing into the cracks in the financial system. Comedian Jimmy Carr became the public face of tax-dodging in the UK earlier this year when it emerged that he had made use of a Cayman Islands-based trust to slash his income tax bill. "These estimates reveal a staggering failure," says John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network.
Left Unity | Left Unity On fairy tales about inequality In Jason DeParle’s New York Times article today, it appears that some folks are claiming that the inequality that Occupy Wall Street has called attention to is a thing of the past and of no concern, all because income inequality declined during the recession between 2007 and 2009. Bunk! That decline is the result of the stock market decline and the very same trend occurred in the early 2000s recession only to end with inequality reestablishing and exceeding its previous heights by 2007 (as DeParle quoted Jared Bernstein saying in the article. Wage and salary data show wage inequality rising from 2009 to 2010 (recovering more than a third of lost ground), suggesting that it is too early to shed crocodile tears for the top 1 percent. As Josh and I explained, there are three dynamics at play in the shift of income up to the top 1 percent and the top 0.1 percent. What’s happened to these dynamics in the recession? Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
People's Parliament | Join the debate Income inequality, the issue that won't go away The Rise and Consequences of Inequality in the United States Alan B. Krueger Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers January 12, 2012 Edited Remarks as Prepared for Delivery The topic I will address today is inequality. As you may know, I am a labor economist. Labor economics is the study of work and pay. Although I have done much research in my career on inequality, I used to have an aversion to using the term inequality. But the rise in income dispersion – along so many dimensions – has gotten to be so high, that I now think that inequality is a more appropriate term. My theme in this talk is that the rise in inequality in the United States over the last three decades has reached the point that inequality in incomes is causing an unhealthy division in opportunities, and is a threat to our economic growth. These trends are well documented but worth reviewing to understand the nature of the phenomenon. You can see that the median household saw a decline in real income in the 2000s.
Bilderberg Group The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, Bilderberg meetings or Bilderberg Club is an annual private conference of approximately 120–150 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media. About two thirds of the participants come from Europe and the rest from North America; one third from politics and government and the rest from other fields. §Origin The original conference was held at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands, from 29 to 31 May 1954. It was initiated by several people, including Polish politician-in-exile Józef Retinger, concerned about the growth of anti-Americanism in Western Europe, who proposed an international conference at which leaders from European countries and the United States would be brought together with the aim of promoting Atlanticism – better understanding between the cultures of the United States and Western Europe to foster co-operation on political, economic and defense issues.
How We Cured “the Culture of Poverty,” Not Poverty Itself A homeless man on the streets of Washington, DC. (Photo: Elvert Barnes / Flickr)It’s been exactly 50 years since Americans, or at least the non-poor among them, “discovered” poverty, thanks to Michael Harrington’s engaging book The Other America. If this discovery now seems a little overstated, like Columbus’s “discovery” of America, it was because the poor, according to Harrington, were so “hidden” and “invisible” that it took a crusading left-wing journalist to ferret them out. Harrington’s book jolted a nation that then prided itself on its classlessness and even fretted about the spirit-sapping effects of “too much affluence.” He estimated that one quarter of the population lived in poverty -- inner-city blacks, Appalachian whites, farm workers, and elderly Americans among them. We could no longer boast, as President Nixon had done in his “kitchen debate” with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow just three years earlier, about the splendors of American capitalism.