Income inequality in the United States has widened greatly over the last forty years—by now that’s no secret. The top 0.1 percent now earn eight percent of the national income, compared with just two percent in 1973. The recession and the recent debate over extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy have made the widening income divide a hot topic. Lots has been said about the issue in the past few weeks, so here’s a quick peek at some of the coverage.
- The Great Divergence – Slate has a ten part series on what drives income inequality. Replete with numerous graphics and interactive features, it is also available in an eReader friendly PDF format.
- Superrich Americans Driving Income Inequality – NPR interviewed Timothy Noah, the author of the Slate series, in this five minute feature.
- Economic Ride Turns Bumpier for the Rich – The Wall Street Journal covers new research by Jonathan Parker and Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, both Kellogg School professors, that tells of the wealthy’s increasingly variable incomes. Greater potential for profit, it appears, also means more exposure to risk.
- Rising Top Incomes are Linked to Rising Business-Cycle Exposure – Jonathan Parker blogs about that same research and provides a link to the original paper (pdf).
- Americans Vastly Underestimate Wealth Inequality, Support ‘More Equal Distribution Of Wealth’: Study – The Huffington Post highlights new research by Michael Norton, a professor at Harvard, and Dan Ariely, a professor at Duke. In the study (pdf), the researchers surveyed “regular” Americans on their views on income inequality and wealth redistribution. Most Americans seem underestimate income inequality and favor greater redistribution of wealth than the status quo.
- Earnings of more than $250,000 a year, but professor laments family just getting by – The Chicago Tribune summarizes the backlash a University of Chicago law professor experienced after he wrote a blog post about the “trials” of earning over $250,000 a year.