Shocked and Persuaded


Separating Fact From Fiction

Chart of the Day and it’s a doozy


So in the past here and elsewhere I have commented on the general lack of relevance to real world prosperity reflected in the classic

GDP = C+I+G+(Exp-Imp)

For so many important reasons GDP sucks not the least being its unwillingness or inability to account for the monetary value of raising children or for that matter ecosystem services. One estimate that does a far better job of addressing not these issues but inequality is the Gini Index. A while back I discussed the bottom-left to upper-right trajectory of this index here in the US at a rapid and disturbing pace. The higher the number the more inequality exists. Simply put it is a number between 0-1 and at absolute Zero it means perfect equality and 1 means that all wealth is perfectly aggregated at the top among the types of elites that attend the Davos World Economic Forum, or TED, or whatever gathering you want to name including the Koch brothers recent get-together in Palm Springs, which was by invite only and the only requirement was that you be worth 1 Billlllllllion dollars!

Anyway tangents aside. I was originally disturbed by the slope of the Gini Index here in the US AND NOW……….I am even more so. I just got my hands on the index back to 1913 courtesy of an obscure paper by Eugene Smolensky and Robert Plotnick at UCal Berkeley (Yeah I know liberal haven but the data don’t lie folks!!!). Take a look and keep in mind the trendline just demonstrates the clip at which inequality is increasing annually, which at this point is about 0.47% per year. Soon we’ll be in Robert Mugabe and Myanmar territory….NO SERIOUSLY WE WILL!!

Wealth inequality has not done wonders for Zimbabwe, Myanmar, North Korea, etc., what makes us think it is a good thing for Ground Zero of Laissez-Faire capitalism? American Exceptionalism will turn the corner and run into reality at some point.

Category: Economics, Education, National News, Wealth

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