Liberals in a Funk Because Inequality Doesn’t Seem to Matter

Five college students.Lane Kenworthy, a sociologist at the University of Arizona…finds no meaningful impact of inequality on growth one way or the other. “Income inequality isn’t the only thing that differed between these two periods,” he said.

Similarly, Mr. Kenworthy found no significant relationship between increasing inequality and life expectancy, infant mortality or college graduation rates, among others. Even when some patterns do mesh — teenage pregnancy rates fell a little more slowly in countries where the share of income going to the top 1 percent grew fastest — the relationship is weak. If you take the United States and Britain off the list, the relationship disappears.

Source: Eduardo Porter, The New York Times.

Comments (15)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    Actually, I would think that rising inequality would be correlated with economic growth. A contrarian argument is that actions to curtail inequity would inhibit economic growth. For example, income transfers tax economic activity. Efforts to subsidize low-skilled labor could also affect the workforce. Raising the minimum wage above the market-clearing wage would cause displaced workers to be poorer than they otherwise would be.

  2. Gretchen says:

    “One of the plausible consequences of rising inequality is that it allows the 1 percent to take control of the political system, purchasing the power needed to maintain the status quo”
    How can you purchase what you already own?

  3. Lacey says:

    “Something that looks bad is coming at you,” he said. “Saying that we shouldn’t do anything about it until we know for sure would be a bad response.”

    I don’t know. Personally, I like to stand in the way of danger.

  4. Zimmerman says:

    Being an sociologist in a leading program nation wide, Dr. Kenworthy’s study should be credible. Statistically speaking, correlation does not mean causal inference. Although I do not know the exact statistical model he use, I basically determine that it is not an experimental design.

  5. Trent says:

    There is absolutely no way inequality does not factor in. Try asking some poor people how they feel, there’s your data

    • Wally says:

      I echo your sympathies trent, even though inequality can not effect growth because of the higher 1% we can say that there is a social imperative.