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Peter Orszag

Biography: 

Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

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RICH MAN, POOR MAN: Income Inequality

with Bruce Bartlett, Peter Orszagvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, July 18, 2001

How much does the gap between rich and poor matter? In 1979, for every dollar the poorest fifth of the American population earned, the richest fifth earned nine. By 1997, that gap had increased to fifteen to one. Is this growing income inequality a serious problem? Is the size of the gap between rich and poor less important than the poor's absolute level of income? In other words, should we focus on reducing the income gap or on fighting poverty?