Bottom Line: Whether we look at Census Bureau data on Gini coefficients [a statistical measure of dispersion that quantifies income inequality on a range from 0% for complete equality to 100% for complete inequality where one person receives all of the income] for U.S. households, families, or year-round workers, or look at the share of income going to the top fifth of Americans, there is absolutely no statistical support for the commonly held view that income inequality has been rising recently. So why are we even having this national debate about solutions to the "non-problem" of rising income inequality. Is this another "imaginary hobgoblin" (see below)?
H.L. Mencken: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
Monday, October 31, 2011
Does it exist? You might say, "Yes! Of course!", but economics professor Mark Perry would say, "Not so fast":