Saturday, January 14, 2012

Everybody talks about income inequality, but nobody does anything about it

Over at the New Republic, they're highlighting a presentation by the White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger about how income inequality and income mobility appear to be correlated.  Timothy Noah laments: "If we don't get growth in income inequality under control" well, bad things will happen.

OK, let's accept the premise that flattening incomes spreads out economic opportunity.  Therefore we should attack the main cause of inequality.  Helpfully, figure #9 of Krueger's presentation lists "Causes of higher inequality."  The main reason for income inequality, with an impact three times larger than the next closest factor ("other and unknown") is "Technological change."

In other words: computers and robots.  What can be done to reverse this, short of a modern-day techno-Luddite movement?  People really seem to like their IPads.

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