Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's the Standard of Living, Stupid!

Progressives rage against income inequality and would like to see "the wealth" more fairly distributed throughout society.

Matt Schoenfield explains why income distribution is far less important than how well the average family lives and what Michael Jordan has to do with it.
Critics today often point to the 1950s as the last years before American society became so divided between haves and have-nots. At the end of that decade, America's "Gini coefficient"—the most common measure of income inequality, running from 0 (least unequal) to 1 (most unequal)—was 0.37. Today it is 0.45. 
But in 1959, more than 20% of families fell below the poverty line. In 2010 that figure was just over 13%. Real per capita GDP today is 270% higher than it was in 1959. A family in the bottom fifth of the income distribution today makes the same amount in real terms as a family earning the median income in 1950. So inequality might have increased, but so too—dramatically—has quality of life.
Read it all.

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