While there has been positive news about recent wage growth, looking back over the last 40 years reveals a different story for the average worker. Adjusting for inflation, wages (as measured by average hourly earnings reported monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) were only around 11 percent higher in 2018 than they were in […]

U.S. income inequality doesn’t have to be the worst in the industrialized world

INCOME INEQUALITY, and the impact of President Trump’s policies on it, looms as a major issue in the 2020 presidential campaign. Fortunately, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has just issued a report on U.S. income inequality through the end of 2016 — that is, about the time Mr. Trump assumed the presidency. Spoiler alert: The […]

Nobel Economist Says Inequality is Destroying Democratic Capitalism

We are about to embark on a large, ambitious, and open-ended review of inequalities. We are bringing together a distinguished group of scholars and writers from different disciplines. Each thinks about inequality differently, and together they encompass a wide range of methodological, political, and philosophical perspectives. At a first stage, currently underway, the guiding panel […]

The Economist Who Would Fix the American Dream

Raj Chetty got his biggest break before his life began. His mother, Anbu, grew up in Tamil Nadu, a tropical state at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. Anbu showed the greatest academic potential of her five siblings, but her future was constrained by custom. Although Anbu’s father encouraged her scholarly inclinations, there were no […]

America’s biggest lie

Pundits and politicians repeatedly warn us that the country cannot afford costly social services. They  caution about the perils of a rising national debt, the supposed near bankruptcy of Medicare and Social Security, and the need to sell public services to the highest bidder in order to save them.  We must tighten our belts sooner […]