March 10, 2013 |
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — This prosperous community is the picture of the good and ever longer life — just what policymakers have in mind when they say that raising the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare is a fair way to rein in the nation's troublesome debt. The county's plentiful and well-tended golf courses teem with youthful-looking retirees. The same is true on the county's 41 miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches, abundant tennis courts and extensive network of biking and hiking trails.
November 20, 2011 |
There has been a strong and troubling shift in market rewards for a small minority relative to the rewards available to most citizens. A recent Congressional Budget Office study found that incomes of the top 1 percent of the U.S. population (adjusted for inflation) rose 275 percent from 1979 to 2007, while income for the middle class grew only 40 percent. Even this dismal figure overstates the fortunes of typical Americans. In 1965, only one in 20 men ages 25 to 54 was not working; by the end of this decade, it...
January 26, 2012 |
There is no doubt that incomes are unequal in the United States — far more so than in most European nations. This fact is part of the impulse behind the Occupy Wall Street movement , whose members claim to represent the 99 percent of us against the wealthiest 1 percent. It has also sparked a major debate in the Republican presidential race, where former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has come under fire for his tax rates and his career as the head of a private-equity firm.
December 25, 2012 |
Democrats seeking a deal to avert the year-end "fiscal cliff" are trying to etch into stone the signature economic achievement of Republican President George W. Bush by permanently extending tax cuts enacted during his tenure. President Obama has put the extension of the tax cuts for most Americans at the top of his domestic agenda, a remarkable turnaround for Democrats, who had staunchly opposed the tax breaks when they were written into law about a decade ago. With Obama leaving his Hawaii vacation...
March 27, 2012 |
Occupy Wall Street is not known for the precision of its economic analysis, but new research on income distribution in the United States shows that the group's sloganeering provides a stunningly accurate picture of the economy. In 2010, according to a study published this month by University of California economist Emmanuel Saez , 93 percent of income growth went to the wealthiest 1 percent of American households, while everyone else divvied up the 7 percent that was left over. Put another way: The most fundamental...
March 29, 2012 |
President Obama, many Democrats and editorial page writers have been working to convince the nation that it is wracked by inequality, a disappearing middle class and a lack of opportunity. The charge of growing inequality is partly correct, mostly because those at the top of the income distribution have pulled away from the rest of us. But the other charges are wrong or misleading. First, consider the claim that the nation's economic growth in the past three decades has gone straight to the richest Americans.