Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Income Inequality

Here is some info from wikipedia that might help the discussion
of the Wal-Mart effect:

-I found a few interesting pages on wikipedia about the
inequality of income in different countries. Experts often
use the "Gini coefficient" to describe the differences between
high and low incomes. Here is a good description:

-According to wikipedia, the Gini coefficient for the US is in
between those of wealthy countries and those of third world
countries. For the last few decades, the US value has been

-I think the biggest reason inequality has risen in the US is
that the nature of labor has changed. Technology has allowed
those who gather information and make decisions to be very
valuable. Therefore they are worth more than they used to
be, and are paid more.

-US income tax rates have also become more high-income
friendly in the last few decades, but I believe the
technological trends have probably been more important.

-Of course rising income inequality is not automatically a bad
thing, but we really should consider if we want our society to
be more like Mexico or more like Germany. For some reason
Mexico-style societies produce lots of people who want to
leave for the US, while Germany-style societies don't.


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