Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, August 07, 2017

The story of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer is a common one that's made authors like Thomas Piketty a household name.

But a new study suggests researchers may be looking at the wrong metric -- and that inequality really isn't widening much at all.

Bruce Meyer of the University of Chicago and James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame argue that consumption, rather than income, should be examined. Using income to measure inequality is a problem for a few reasons. For one, it's measured before tax, it's not person weighted (a family with one person is measured the same as one with six people) and it may underrepresent the impact of government transfers.

Meyer and Sullivan looked at income between 1963 and 2014, using the current population survey, and consumption between 1960 and 2014, using the consumer expenditure survey.

The short version is -- there's a much less stark gap between haves and have-nots measured this way.

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Consumption, they say, may be a better way to measure well being, since it better reflects disparities in access to credit or accumulation of assets. Consumption also is more closely associated with other measures of poverty than income is.

The researchers show that consumption inequality rose considerably less than income inequality over the past five decades. Between the early 1960s and 2014 income inequality grew by nearly 30% while inequality in consumption rose just 7%.

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Interesting way of looking at this since one of the biggest slams against income surveys is the difficulty of determining how many people are living off of any one income.

#1 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-08-07 05:47 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

rflmao

#2 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-08-07 07:52 PM | Reply

Do not ruin this for them RoC...

#3 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-08-07 09:11 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

A non-peer reviewed "study" by guy from the rwing AEI finds inequality is not so bad?

Man, this IS news!!

Yeah, man, like, don't look at my money look at my consumption! A person can only spend so much!

(don't look behind the curtain at what I stashed away overseas!)

The AEI has been spreading this bull hockey since at least 2012, and it still stinks.

"Featured in a recent blog from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, the graphic highlights just how stratospheric income growth has been for the very wealthiest Americans -- and how stagnant, in contrast, wages have been for the rest.

That's not a typo on the right. Incomes for the top 0.001% richest Americans surged 636% during the 34-year period. Wow."

www.businessinsider.com

It's about the disposable income, now about how it's disposed.

#4 | Posted by Corky at 2017-08-07 09:45 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 10

"The study, circulated by the National Bureau of Economic Research, has not been peer reviewed yet"

Night

#5 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2017-08-07 09:50 PM | Reply

#3 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

What other reason would a conservative have to express an opinion on the DR?

Certainly not inquire to expand perspective; that would be antithetical to the true definition of conservatism and traditionalism, yes?

#6 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2017-08-07 09:53 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 2

National Bureau of Economic Research is a turnstile distributor of all kinds of papers, btw, and has no vestment in nor support of any of them.

#7 | Posted by Corky at 2017-08-07 09:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Illegal immigration is a stark example of income inequality. An inequality the Democrats are fighting tooth and nail for.

Why?

#8 | Posted by Prolix247 at 2017-08-07 10:44 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

The funny/sad part is that if capitalism were an economic system that naturally flowed money downwards, and if the people at the bottom used that money to write tax and other laws for themselves.... well, the rwingers here would be apoplexed about that unlevel playing field; the built-in inequality, and rightfully so.

But, for some reason, since capitalism naturally flows money upwards* and it's the very wealthy interests, private and corporate, that write their own laws that provide and sustain their economic advantage, rwingers are OK with that, it doesn't bother them at all... as a matter of fact, they provide proxy votes for their economic masters and even defend and argue for them.

The reason may be some kind of Pavlovian Response, their having been long tamed, trained, and expected to submit to their economic betters; most would likely feel faint walking into the same room with a Trump or a Tillerson.

But this upwards flow of economic wealth is no new phenomena, it is and has been well known. It is why progressive taxation is as American as apple pie and why our economies have been very successful, and more fair, under higher top rates of upwards of 90 and 70 and 50 percent.

Now, at under 30-something and headed downwards, these rates are criminal considering the nature of the beast.

It would be like sitting in a poker game with a thousand dollar stake against other players with a million dollar stake. Any question about who is not going to win that game?

Really it appears to be that rwingers don't want to rock the boat, bite the hand that feeds them, so to speak, and in many cases when they are fairly well off themselves, they don't understand just how much better off they too would be under a more fair system... if one must apply to their personal Randian greed to make a point.

* The mathematical law that shows why wealth flows to the 1%
www.theguardian.com

#9 | Posted by Corky at 2017-08-07 11:23 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

"The short version is -- there's a much less stark gap between haves and have-nots measured this way."

Isn't that a bad thing, MadBomber?

#10 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-08-08 01:48 AM | Reply

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please pass the 'less stark' pliers.

#11 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-08-08 02:56 AM | Reply

Consumption isn't wealth. This is like the argument that we should fund things with a sales tax instead of an income tax. Rich people love that because they are sitting on a lot more money they don't actively spend. A sales tax hits the non-rich because we're spending much more of what we earn.

The rich in this country will never run out of ways to rationalize putting the burdens of our society on other people. Look at Trump and how proud he is of paying no income taxes for 20 years. He feels no obligation to fund a society in which he's made massive wealth.

#12 | Posted by rcade at 2017-08-08 07:38 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 8

Consumption beyond a certain point is an indicator of nothing.

A person that earns $20,000,000/year does not spend 1000 times what a person earning $20,000 per year does. Especially on food and other necessities.

To make a comparison like this is fraudulent.

Inequality is more accurately measured by wealth.

How many in the 1% would be bankrupted by an unexpected $1,000 medical bill?

How many in the bottom 50%?

Anyone that thinks this type of bullshirt is valid is a moron.

#13 | Posted by 726 at 2017-08-08 12:27 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 5

"The short version is - there's a much less stark gap between haves and have-nots measured this way." In other words, lets put some lipstick on this pig. Only a sucker, or Trump voter, would buy the BS this article is selling.

Try this one..
www.cbsnews.com

#14 | Posted by HeeHaw at 2017-08-08 05:05 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Rich people love that because they are sitting on a lot more money they don't actively spend.

And that pisses Liberals off. They think that money is owned by "everyone"..

#15 | Posted by boaz at 2017-08-08 07:57 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

"and if the people at the bottom used that money to write tax and other laws for themselves.... well, the rwingers here would be apoplexed about that unlevel playing field; the built-in inequality, and rightfully so."

Sooo...the people at the top wrote the tax laws to ensure that they paid 47% of the federal income tax burden?

"It would be like sitting in a poker game with a thousand dollar stake against other players with a million dollar stake. Any question about who is not going to win that game?"

Except that it's not really like that. In this reality, the guy with the million dollar stake...the smart one anyways...recognizes that he can make even more by giving much of his money to the the best player at the table. Facebook didn't get to be what it is just because of Mark Zuckerberg. He had a string of investors who put their money into the company, and in return Zuckerberg made them billion$.

#16 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-08-08 10:58 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

"The rich in this country will never run out of ways to rationalize putting the burdens of our society on other people..."

I hope you realize that what you're saying about the rich in this country, the developing world is saying about you.

"A person that earns $20,000,000/year does not spend 1000 times what a person earning $20,000 per year does."

You don't know that...and it's a certainty that there are many out there in the top 1% that are spending more in a given year than they are earning. That wouldn't be hard to do. But to address this problem, if you view it as such, maybe the answer is not to tax money that is earned, but rather tax money that isn't spent.

#17 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-08-08 11:03 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

"And that pisses Liberals off. They think that money is owned by "everyone".."

Not everyone...not by a long stretch. There are billions across the world who could use it far more than your average American. But progressives don't seem to be as interested in that as they seem to be interested in buying votes using money they take from others.

#18 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-08-08 11:04 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

But progressives don't seem to be as interested in that as they seem to be interested in buying votes using money they take from others.
#18 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

They're just nationalists, like our newly elected POTUS. What's so bad about that?

#19 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2017-08-08 11:14 PM | Reply

And that pisses Liberals off. They think that money is owned by "everyone"..

#15 | POSTED BY BOAZ

After more than twelve years here you still have nothing more than caricatures and the ability to regurgitate the same simplistic ---- you get spoon fed by whatever garbage heap media you consume.

Pull your head out of your ass and pay attention, boaz. Or just stop wasting your time and ours.

#20 | Posted by jpw at 2017-08-08 11:22 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Do not ruin this for them RoC...

#3 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

With this one post you obliterated any chance of being taken seriously on this thread.

This "study" is garbage that is cherry picking a measure to achieve an outcome. Nothing more, nothing less.

#21 | Posted by jpw at 2017-08-08 11:23 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

But progressives don't seem to be as interested in that as they seem to be interested in buying votes using money they take from others.

#18 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

And...as expected you didn't post anything worth taking seriously.

#22 | Posted by jpw at 2017-08-08 11:25 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 2

"They're just nationalists, like our newly elected POTUS. What's so bad about that?"

Nationalists with a socialist lean...that's gone bad before, right? Somewhere in Europe, maybe?

#23 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-08-09 12:09 AM | Reply

"This "study" is garbage that is cherry picking a measure to achieve an outcome. Nothing more, nothing less."

Kinda like Picketty's propaganda, right?

#24 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-08-09 12:09 AM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

"And...as expected you didn't post anything worth taking seriously."

And you did? You're just chasing others around, pointlessly expending energy by telling them how they were pointlessly expending energy.

Your debate style is clearly beyond reproach.

#25 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-08-09 12:10 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

Your debate style is clearly beyond reproach.

You're asking people to debate if an imitation Mona Lisa painted in feces is still "art".

In other words, don't act as if you're being wronged by people pointing out this is garbage.

#26 | Posted by jpw at 2017-08-09 12:42 AM | Reply

Kinda like Picketty's propaganda, right?

#24 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

I haven't read his "propaganda", but I'd wager it's not as bad as you claim given your support of this nonsense and your use of the word "propaganda".

#27 | Posted by jpw at 2017-08-09 12:43 AM | Reply

"In other words, don't act as if you're being wronged by people pointing out this is garbage."

I wouldn't have done so had you added anything that could be considered substantive. You didn't.

"I haven't read his "propaganda", but I'd wager it's not as bad as you claim given your support of this nonsense and your use of the word "propaganda".

The I'll summarize it for you. He wrote a book on Income Inequality, which was met with the criticism that he had cherry picked the data...something he later admitted to having done. Pretty much exactly the same thing that these authors are being criticized as having done.

#28 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-08-09 01:26 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

your nos 16,17,18... are not thorough, and therefore your assumptions wrong.

take #16: of course they write the code and the idea that your think it's so they can pay it is quite naive.

as for the poker metaphor...then the gear shift into "reality" is, in fact, not helping your case, ie, it takes money to make money, tax havens, write-offs, investments -- is not the language of reality, it's tge language of luxury.

and yes, Boaz, a few ppl owning all the resources (wealth) _is wrong.

#29 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-08-09 03:43 AM | Reply

"...it takes money to make money"

Money helps, but its the ideas and the demand for those ideas that create wealth. If I have a $100 bill in my wallet, it's not going to procreate. It's not going to replicate itself on its own.

"and yes, Boaz, a few ppl owning all the resources (wealth) _is wrong."

At the root cause of this concept is reality that only a few people have the intellectual capacity or natural gifts that will translate into high earnings. Income or wealth inequality is nothing more than a symptom of this underlying reality. There are many forms of inequality. Some people have a lot of talent, while others have very little. Some people have many friends while others have very few. Some have many lovers, while others have none. All these are forms of inequality. And it doesn't result from government creating the conditions for inequality. And if good folks like yourself found these forms of inequality to be intolerable, the only response would be for government to handicap those who had a lot in favor of those who had less.

#30 | Posted by madbomber at 2017-08-09 12:03 PM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

"Income or wealth inequality is nothing more than a symptom of this underlying reality. "

Get real. Rich people buying favorable laws is the "underlying reality".

#31 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-08-09 12:11 PM | Reply

- only a few people have the intellectual capacity or natural gifts that will translate into high earnings.

Yeah, like Trump who was SO intelligent that he picked wealthy parents. What utter garbage.

* The mathematical law that shows why wealth flows to the 1%

The facts related in #9 still stand. Capitalism flows wealth upwards and progressive taxation helps to alleviate the inequality cause by that fact.... interminable whining by the wealthy's comparatively poor dumb proxy voter defenders notwithstanding.

#32 | Posted by Corky at 2017-08-09 04:17 PM | Reply

Load. Of. Crap.

#33 | Posted by Angrydad at 2017-08-09 10:11 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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