January 28, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's sixth speech on the state of the union will spotlight many issues, but more than anything may illuminate the vast gap between his policy ambitions and the tools he has to achieve them. The president made the ambition clear last month, when he referred to a “dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility” in the United States as the “the defining challenge of our time.” His overriding goal, he has said in speeches and interviews, is to reverse the trend in which incomes for most Americans have stagnated since the late 1970s while the share going to the wealthiest has soared.
April 24, 2014 |
The wealthy are getting even wealthier - in part because they're so wealthy to start with. That's the upshot of new research, which shows that the richest 1% of Americans derive huge profits from capital gains, stock dividends and other types of business- or investment-related gains. In other words, rich people are making a lot of money on their money. Anyone, of course, can benefit from stock-related gains. But the rich have benefited a lot more, in part because they have higher incomes that enable them to invest more.
June 11, 2000 |
A 1999 Times poll found that nearly 60% of Californians who described themselves as working or lower class expected they would be able to move up the economic ladder. Many at the bottom have, in fact, been making progress during this long expansion. This may be one reason why inequality, a hot topic for politicians and journalists in the 1980s and early 1990s, is getting less play these days. When people at the bottom and top are gaining ground, inequality is less potent.
February 7, 2014 |
Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert M. Solow has leveled a blast at a recent attempt by Harvard economist N. Gregory Mankiw to explain rising income inequality and the primacy of the 1% in the U.S. as the result of "just deserts" going to the talented people making important economic contributions to society. The tenor of Solow's approach can be gleaned from the opening words of his piece, which fault Mankiw's analysis for its "unstated premises, dubious assumptions and omitted facts.
July 19, 1999 |
The "digital divide" has been back in the news recently--but, as usual, only briefly. On July 8, the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration released its latest report in a series called "Falling Through the Net." This is an ongoing study of telephone, computer and Internet use in the U.S. that can be viewed at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/digitaldivide. In it, the government reported (using 1998 data) that 40% of U.S.
January 29, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's sixth speech on the state of the union spotlighted many issues, but more than anything it illuminated the vast gap between his policy ambitions and the tools he has to achieve them. The president made the ambition clear last month, when he referred to a "dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility" in the U.S. as the "the defining challenge of our time," a theme he repeated Tuesday night. "After four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better," he said, "but average wages have barely budged.
November 11, 2012 |
Click here to download TV listings for the week Nov. 4 - 10 in PDF format This week's TV Movies SERIES Richard Hammond's Crash Course: Richard trains to be one of the crew tasked with changing a wheel in an IndyCar race in Sonoma in an episode that features a drive around the racetrack with legendary driver Mario Andretti (7 and 11 p.m. BBC America). How I Met Your Mother: Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) decides to take action when Robin (Cobie Smulders)
September 20, 2013 |
Since the economic disaster of 2008 sent incomes spinning downward and the jobless rate shooting upward, at least one group of Americans has found a path back to prosperity: the top 1%. Over the last four years, the super-rich have been able to rake in 95% of all income gains. That's right, according to a new study by Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at UC Berkeley, while the number of poor Americans has risen and members of the middle class...
October 30, 2013 |
British bitcoin exchange Coinfloor opened its virtual doors to customers this week with a stated commitment to meeting government regulations and keeping money launderers out. The London-based exchange will officially open to trading Tuesday, but it is allowing customers to sign up and register for accounts beforehand. Coinfloor is launching at a time when bitcoin is facing increased scrutiny after the arrest of Ross Ulbricht, a 29-year-old from San Francisco who allegedly masterminded the online drug emporium Silk Road.
April 14, 1991 |
One of the classic trade-offs in economics is between equity and efficiency. Under many circumstances, arrangements or policies that enhance one of these goals do so by sacrificing some of the other. Since the early 1970s, the U.S. economy has managed to do poorly on both counts.