Everything you need to know about income inequality

16 Cards

CURATED BY Matthew Yglesias

2014-05-07 13:15:40 -0400

  1. What is income inequality?
  2. How do you measure inequality?
  3. What is a gini coefficient?
  4. Is inequality bad?
  5. How economically unequal is the United States?
  6. Is inequality rising because the rich are getting richer or because the poor are getting poorer?
  7. Why is inequality rising?
  8. How does inequality relate to opportunity and upward mobility?
  9. What can the government do to reduce inequality?
  10. How does income inequality relate to wealth inequality?
  11. What's happening to inequality elsewhere in the world?
  12. What's happening to global income inequality?
  13. Why do some economists say the increase in inequality has been overstated?
  14. Where can I learn more about inequality?
  15. You didn't answer my question!
  16. How have these cards changed?
  1. Card 1 of 16

    What is income inequality?

    Broadly speaking, income inequality refers to the fact that different people earn different amounts of money. The wider those earnings are dispersed, the more unequal they are. But that intuitive concept of dispersal can be defined in several different ways. Indeed, income itself is a somewhat ambiguous idea that can be defined in different ways.

    All that said, in the contemporary United States income inequality has been increasing for several decades by essentially any measure. Similar trends are observed in most other rich countries. At the same time, on a global scale inequality is probably declining.

    Inequality has become a hot topic in American politics in recent years. The Occupy Wall Street movement's slogans about the 99 percent versus the 1 percent have stirred an influential current in politics. In a December 2013 speech Barack Obama called inequality the  "defining challenge of our time." Conservative politicians overwhelmingly disagree, and focus groups seem to indicate that the public prefers talk about "opportunity" to explicit discussion of inequality. Still, the trend toward more inequality shows no sign of halting and left-of-center figures are likely to keep it on the policy agenda.

  2. Card 2 of 16

    How do you measure inequality?

  3. Card 3 of 16

    What is a gini coefficient?

  4. Card 4 of 16

    Is inequality bad?

  5. Card 5 of 16

    How economically unequal is the United States?

  6. Card 6 of 16

    Is inequality rising because the rich are getting richer or because the poor are getting poorer?

  7. Card 7 of 16

    Why is inequality rising?

  8. Card 8 of 16

    How does inequality relate to opportunity and upward mobility?

  9. Card 9 of 16

    What can the government do to reduce inequality?

  10. Card 10 of 16

    How does income inequality relate to wealth inequality?

  11. Card 11 of 16

    What's happening to inequality elsewhere in the world?

  12. Card 12 of 16

    What's happening to global income inequality?

  13. Card 13 of 16

    Why do some economists say the increase in inequality has been overstated?

  14. Card 14 of 16

    Where can I learn more about inequality?

  15. Card 15 of 16

    You didn't answer my question!

  16. Card 16 of 16

    How have these cards changed?

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