EppsNet Archive: Income Inequality

10 Reasons That NY Times Chart Might Not Mean What You Think It Means

14 Aug 2017 /

From the New York Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/07/opinion/leonhardt-income-inequality.html
  1. Money is not the only metric for measuring life outcomes. Charts and articles like this seem to reflect an inappropriate obsession with narrowly materialist values.
  2. If you do want to measure your life with money, it looks like the 99th percentile is where you want to be. Why aren’t you there? Why aren’t you a CEO? Why aren’t you making a million a year? If you can’t figure out how to get there, don’t begrudge the people who did figure it out. If you don’t have the education, motivation, intelligence or skills to get there, don’t begrudge those who do.
  3. The amount of wealth is not a fixed amount. It’s not a zero-sum game. If it were, it would be concerning that a few people are very wealthy. But it isn’t.
  4. The distribution of income has to be skewed to the right because income is bounded on the low end by zero but not limited on the upside.
  5. If you can’t imagine why income inequality exists, consider that 25 percent of Americans think the sun goes around the earth.
  6. If you can’t imagine why income inequality exists, consider that half the residents of Detroit can’t read.
  7. People who get upset at the realization that some other people have more than they do make excellent targets for politicians who promise, in return for your vote, to rob the people you envy.
  8. Winners may have more money but losers get more hugs.
  9. I see a lot of articles about income inequality but I don’t meet a lot of ordinary Americans who are concerned about it.
  10. There seems to be a confusion of cause and effect. Did income rise the fastest for people in the top one percent or did people get into the top one percent because their income rose the fastest? If that isn’t clear, consider an example: Did Mark Zuckerberg’s income go way up because he was on the right side of that chart or is he on the right side of the chart because his income went way up?

Income Inequality Explained

23 Aug 2016 /

I saw this sign at a gas station soda fountain . . .

Don't fill cups with the lid on


Income Inequality Explained

9 May 2016 /
http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/05/04/report-nearly-half-of-detroiters-cant-read/

Who Will Be America’s America?

1 Mar 2016 /

And do not forget that nearly all of the countless 20th-century innovations and industries that made the rest of the developed world so efficient and comfortable came from America, and it wasn’t a coincidence. As long as Europe had America taking risks, investing ambitiously, and yes, being “inequal,” it had the luxury of benefiting from the results without making the same sacrifices. Who will be America’s America?

— Garry Kasparov

Why Jennifer Lawrence Makes Less Than Bradley Cooper

14 Oct 2015 /
Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence is complaining (Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co-Stars?) that she and American Hustle co-star Amy Adams received 7 percent of the profits for the film, while male actors Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale and director David Russell received 9 percent.

The only explanation I can think of for this inequity is that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were willing to work for 7 percent. It doesn’t make sense to sign a deal for 7 percent and then complain that you didn’t get 9 percent. If you want 9, ask for 9. If it’s going to bother you to make less than a male co-star, ask for the same deal as the male co-star.

Does Jennifer Lawrence have an agent? This doesn’t seem super complicated . . .


Income Inequality is the Best

14 Jul 2014 /

Dilbert comic


I’ve Solved the Problem of Economic Inequality

18 May 2014 /

Instead of “economic inequality,” let’s call it “economic diversity.” Then it’s a good thing, right?


The Person Who Says It Can’t Be Done Is Interrupted By The Person Doing It

8 Jun 2012 /

In his latest book, The Price of Inequality, Columbia Professor and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz examines the causes of income inequality and offers some remedies. In between, he reaches some startling conclusions, including that America is “no longer the land of opportunity” and “the ‘American dream’ is a myth.”

“If there is anybody at all who has a dream, then they can definitely make it happen,” she told WBTV. “There are no excuses. It depends on you and no one else.”

The second link above goes to a story about Dawn Loggins, an 18-year-old girl from Lawndale, NC, who, after her mother and stepfather left the state without her and she was dropped by her grandmother at a local homeless shelter, “just made a decision that I was not going to end up like my parents.” She did well enough in high school to be accepted at Harvard University.

I’m not a Nobel laureate but I can tell you that income correlates to things like education, skills and motivation. If you’re concerned about the inequality of your income, take the time you spend keeping up with fantasy football and reality television and invest it in learning and maintaining marketable skills, and see if your income doesn’t go up.

If you’re complaining about income inequality, and you have any idea who was voted off any reality television program in the last week, you need to pipe down and reexamine your priorities. Watch your programs if you want to, but keep in mind that you’re competing in the job market with people who are more serious than you are.