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Feb 11, 2008

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brad wright

Wow, this really gets home how much "stuff" we all have--both the wealthy & poor.

Michael W. Kruse

I agree. And the charts are some of the most effective communicators of this reality that I've ever seen.

Steve Roth

If inequality leads to faster growth, so everyone's better off long-term, then--arguably--it doesn't matter. Wealth has (by far) the highest inequality. So, does wealth inequality create economic prosperity? Over the long term, apparently not:

http://trueconservative.typepad.com/trueconservative/2008/02/wealth-equality.html

Michael W. Kruse

Steve, thanks for the link to you blog.

I don't think wealth inequality alone can be the cause of prosperity. Instead, I'd characterize it this way. Historically we've had considerable equality in wealth among the masses with a tiny sliver of folks holding most of the wealth. There was virtually no economic status mobility. In developed nations we have more of bell-shaped curve in distribution. Less equal distribution but with radically more mobility at all levels of economic status. That economic freedom and mobility is what inspires and rewards innovation, thus generating robust economic growth.

As Winston Churchill said, “The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” :)

BTW, I love the premise of your blog site. Thanks for stopping by.

Steve Roth

Hi Michael:

Thanks to you too.

>I don't think wealth inequality alone can be the cause of prosperity.

No of course not. Just one of a zillion factors. While I show a correlation (long-term but not short-termm), the causation could arguably go either way. Or both.

A recent study mentioned in the economist, btw (sorry, to busy right now to look it up) found that generation to generation (which avoids the issue of who earns what at different ages), scandanavian countries have more upward mobility than the U.S. A poor person in Finland has a higher chance of kids being in a higher quintile.

Glad you like the "conservative" thing. One of those things one wants to get off one's chest... And thanks for the Churchill quote! One I hadn't heard.

Steve

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