Wealth inequality has become a heated political issue. Politicians claim that wealth concentration is rising and that people at the top are gaining at other people’s expense. In this study, I examine problems with the measurement of wealth and discuss whether wealth inequality is an issue that public policy needs to address. I also consider the likely effects of wealth taxation.
We cannot be sure whether the national education reform movement that roared across America from A Nation at Risk (1983) until recently has halted or simply paused. Reform, however, is definitely at low ebb—and most student scores and other outcome measures remain flatter and at lower levels than the country needs. While reform efforts still inch along in some states and communities, they appear to inch backward almost as often.
CATO has put out a much-improved version of my "Wealth and Taxes" series on wealth inequality and the wealth tax. Html here and pdf here. Many thanks to Chris Edwards and the CATO staff for editing and formatting it, and getting it out in this nice format.
Despite the potential of a pandemic that could crater the global economy, it’s a relief to know that China’s Communist rulers are focusing on the important things. The latest brouhaha between China and the United States unfolded last week when Beijing expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters in retribution for an opinion column entitled “China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia.” It was the first time since 1998 that a foreign reporter has been kicked out of China.
Far be it from me to claim prescience, but perhaps more folks should have paid attention last year when Rick Hess and I raised a caution about the intensifying ardor among educators for schools to embrace “social-emotional learning” (SEL): SEL will be counted a dismal failure if it encourages educators to settle for pillowy paeans to “happiness,” “self-esteem,” and “inclusivity” at the expense of harder things such as character, ethics, virtue, and civility.
Here’s an interesting discussion between Keynesian Walter Heller and monetarist Milton Friedman in 1978. It was one of the early productions of Bob Chitester who, in the next year, put together the famous PBS series “Free to Choose.” The moderator, Marina von Neumman Whitman, does a good job. I found her more impressive on this show than I did when she was one of my bosses at the Council of Economic Advisers in 1973, when I was a summer intern.
If fully implemented, but otherwise implemented wisely, Senator Sanders’ agenda for the economy would reduce real GDP and consumption by 24 percent. Real wages would fall more than 50 percent after taxes. Employment and hours would fall 16 percent combined. There would be less total healthcare, less childcare, less energy available to households, and less value added in the university sector. Although it is more difficult to forecast, the stock market would likely fall more than 50 percent.
interview with Ayaan Hirsi Alivia University of Colorado at Boulder, Benson Center
Friday, January 31, 2020
Hoover Institution fellow Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization. Her talk was titled “The Market for Victimhood,” and she touched on the dangers of tribalism in the U.S. Hirsi Ali notes that “It has been said that education opens the mind, while indoctrination closes it. A good education permits one to think critically, and to consider multiple viewpoints."
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. Social networking platforms like these connect billions of people each day, spreading information instantly on a global level. It’s become clear that social networks are also dangerously good at spreading fake news and extreme views – and igniting information wars, something that’s especially vexing in an election year.
As Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign appears to have the momentum headed into the South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday, parallels are being drawn between the 78-year-old self-described democratic socialist and another far-left politician, the United Kingdom’s Jeremy Corbyn.