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Articles for Today: Income Inequality

2017-09-11

First, there is a classic article by Paul Krugman, originally published in 1992, about the stunning rise in income and wealth inequality in the period 1979-1989 and how conservatives tried to deny that it even happened, much less had any significance.  Here are the last two paragraphs of the article:

The surprise lesson of the income distribution controversy, then, is what it says about today’s conservative mind-set. It turns out that many conservatives, for all their anti-totalitarian rhetoric, have Orwellian instincts: if the record doesn’t say what you wish it did, hide it or fudge it.

There are substantive issues about income distribution. Nobody really knows all the reasons why incomes at the top have soared while those at the bottom have plunged. Still less is there a consensus about what kinds of policies might limit or reverse the trend. But it seems that many conservatives not only don’t want to discuss substance: they prefer not to face reality, and to live in a fantasy world in which the 1980s turned out the way they were supposed to, not the way they did.

This article says a lot about the mind-sets of conservatives like those who publish the Wall Street Journal (now run by Rupert Murdoch, a toady of Don the Con.)  If the facts are inconvenient, simply deny they exist.

Second is an article about the book by Thomas Pikketty called “Capital in the Twenty-first Century” which caused some terrible uproar when it was published a couple of years ago.   The book laid out clearly how rich people have been screwing poor people out of the gains from their increases in productivity, partly with a regressive income tax system.  The article is titled “Pikketty’s Triumph” and is worth reading, especially if you are unfamiliar with the book.

As a bonus, here is an article from the Guardian about how Rupert Murdoch and Don the Con have become “best friends forever” and how Murdoch is systematically slanting the Journal’s coverage to “normalize” Don (as if that were actually possible.)

 

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