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Home / Tag Archives: Inequality and Poverty

Tag Archives: Inequality and Poverty

Even In the Face of Coup Attempt, NYT Continues Propaganda for Upward Redistribution Through Trade

I have repeatedly raised the point that media accounts routinely use the term “free trade” when they can more accurately say simply “trade” or trade policy. It is amazing to me that this practice continues. We saw it yet again in a NYT article on how many Republicans continue to be faithful to Trump even after last week’s coup attempt. The article told readers: “Anthony Sabatini, a Florida state representative, described Ms. Cheney and other Republicans who...

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End of the Year Thoughts on Inequality and Its Remedies

The approach of the end of the year seems a good time to sum up thoughts. My comments here will not be news to regular readers, but may be to others. Also, this exercise is helpful for me to keep my thoughts clear. (I also expect to take next week off, so you won’t be hearing from me for a while.) Most of my work for the last several years has been focused on ways to reduce before tax inequality by reducing the amount of before-tax income that goes to those at the top of the income...

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All In for $2K

A few weeks ago I had exchanges with people on Twitter in which I argued against across the board payments to individuals. I was concerned that these were likely to come out of other provisions (most importantly unemployment insurance) in the pandemic relief package. Since most people have actually not seen their income cut from the pandemic (they are still working) and many are saving on commuting costs, there is no obvious reason they need another check. On the other hand, the people who...

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The New York Times Hasn’t Heard About China’s Vaccines

That is the implication of a major piece on how the coronavirus vaccines are leading to greater worldwide inequality, since the rich countries have reserved the vast majority of the 2021 supplies of vaccines of the leading U.S.-European vaccines. While this is in fact a serious problem, as my co-authors and I have noted, China also has produced several effective vaccines and is distributing them too developing countries. China has already made commitments to supply hundreds of millions of...

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Getting Serious About Repealing Section 230

Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act has been getting considerable attention lately for almost all the wrong reasons. Donald Trump has been yelling that he wants the provision repealed, and even threatened to veto the main military spending bill for next year if it does not include the repeal of Section 230. (It doesn’t.) Trump apparently believes that repealing Section 230 would prevent Facebook from pulling down posts from Trump and his racist friends. He also is upset that...

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Important Addition to Edsall Column on the Politics of Resentment: Downward Mobility Was by Design

Thomas Edsall had an interesting piece last week on the politics of resentment. The gist of that a large portion of non-college educated whites are voting based on their fear of losing their social status. While there is undoubtedly much truth to Edsall’s argument, there is an important point that Edsall leaves out. He tells readers: “Voters in the bottom half of the income distribution face a level of hypercompetition that has, in turn, served to elevate politicized status...

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NYT Wants to Talk About Higher Wages, but Doesn’t Want to Talk About the Real Reasons Wages are Low

It’s good to see the New York Times making the case for higher wages in an editorial. Unfortunately, they get much of the story confused. First off, the essence of the case is that higher wages will lead to more consumption, which will spur growth. This is true, but higher pay is not the only way to generate more demand. We also get more demand with larger budget deficits, lower interest rates, and a smaller trade deficit. But that is the less important problem with the piece. The...

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Why are the Free Traders All Protectionists? Vaccines and Sharing Knowledge (Fun for Thanksgiving)

After having Donald Trump in the White House for four years, we have gotten used to being lied to by people in high positions. Trump and his top staff have no qualms about telling us night is day, black is white, and two plus two equals five. But we expect better from Team Reality: you know, the folks who write newspaper and magazine articles and opinion pieces, teach at major universities, and pass themselves off as great thinkers on the important issues of the day. But when it comes to...

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News for Bill Gates: Capitalism Is Still Capitalism Without Patent Monopolies

Like Donald Trump, Bill Gates apparently has a hard time understanding some things. The NYT had a major article on Gate’s role in developing vaccines against the coronavirus. At one point, the piece notes critics of Gates, who complain about how he has promoted patent monopoly financing of the development of vaccines and drugs, which allow these items to sell at prices that can be many thousand percent above the free market price. The piece then presents Gates’ rejoinder: “This...

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“A Silent Pandemic”: Racism, Negligence, and Medical Assault in ICE Detention Centers

After a whistleblower revealed that an ICE detention facility in Georgia sterilized immigrant women without consent, members of the House Judiciary Committee and Hispanic Caucus visited the facility and heard directly from the whistleblower and immigrant women who experienced forced sterilizations at the facility.    Congress members called for an investigation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in mid-September, then passed a resolution demanding DHS “pause the removal of any...

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