Yes, Virginia, there is an income gap | Bleader

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Yes, Virginia, there is an income gap

Posted By on 11.21.06 at 01:01 PM

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

click to enlarge 388.jpg

San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank president Janet Yellen warns that income inequality in the U.S. may be so severe that it's "intensifying resistance to globalization, impairing social cohesion, and could, ultimately, undermine American democracy."

The Heartland Institute misrepresents her statement, en route to regurgitating the libertarian party line that relative inequality never matters as long as everyone gets a crumb. The chair of a university economics department is too busy setting up straw men to grasp the point.

Meanwhile, actual discussion is occurring in some surprising places. Andrew Leonard at Salon (brief ad viewing required) notes that even the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal understands what Yellen is talking about.

For a reality-based approach to this issue, Chris Bertram's post at Crooked Timber is a good place to start, not because he's necessarily right, but because he lists some of the arguments and where to find more. For instance, "Amartya Sen goes through some of them in his well-known essay 'Poor Relatively Speaking': if wealthier people come to have access to new technologies, and if access to important goods get mediated through access to those technologies, then the poor who lack such access will find it harder and more expensive to supply their needs."

Tags: , , ,


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Harold Henderson

  • The Recyclable House

    The Recyclable House

    If Ken Ortiz has his way, no one in Chicago will ever simply "demolish" a building again.
    • Jul 24, 2008
  • Sympathy for the Devil?

    Sympathy for the Devil?

    Progressive scribe Rick Perlstein made his reputation finding the good in conservatives. Then they really started screwing up the country.
    • Jan 24, 2008
  • Dynamic Flash for Democrats

    Dynamic Flash for Democrats

    Wanna raise funds to run for office? Nag Schwarzenegger about health care? Or just make fun of Bush? Call Articulated Man.
    • Jan 10, 2008
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
Nothing Is Ours but Time Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art
February 09
Performing Arts
Duck and Cover Classroom The Time Gallery
August 10

Tabbed Event Search

The Bleader Archive

Popular Stories