Inequality in the long run

The distribution of income and wealth is a widely discussed and controversial topic. Do the dynamics of private capital accumulation inevitably lead to the concentration of income and wealth in ever fewer hands, as Karl Marx believed in the 19th century? Or do the balancing forces of growth, competition, and technological progress lead in later […]

A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality

The broad facts of income inequality over the past six decades are easily summarized: The years from the end of World War II into the 1970s were ones of substantial economic growth and broadly shared prosperity. Incomes grew rapidly and at roughly the same rate up and down the income ladder, roughly doubling in inflation-adjusted […]

This Is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like

CORONA, Calif.—Roberta Gordon never thought she’d still be alive at age 76. She definitely didn’t think she’d still be working. But every Saturday, she goes down to the local grocery store and hands out samples, earning $50 a day, because she needs the money. “I’m a working woman again,” she told me, in the common […]

Trump’s paid family leave plan would punish those who choose to have kids

Early in the 5th century, the theologian Saint Augustine of Hippo noted something about families and society that, in his era, was simply conventional wisdom: “After the city, or political community, comes the world, following the convention that treats the household, city, and world as three successive levels of human society.” For the ancients, families were the first […]