Category Archives: Income disparity

Americans Raid 401(k)s, Replacing Home Equity Withdrawals as Way to Make Ends Meet

It’s been creepy to see economists and the financial media cheering the re-levering by American households as a sign that they economy is on the mend and consumers are regaining their will to shop. The number of Americans who are tapping into their 401 (k) accounts is proof that the financial health of ordinary Americans is far from robust.

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More Effective Remedies for Inequality

Yves here. The subject of inequality in income and wealth has, in the last year or so, become an oft-mentioned topic in economic and political commentary. It’s now even acceptable to use the word “oligarchy” to describe the US. Yet too often lost in the debate is that this type of inequality is the result of what right society allows various members to have. For instance, in the last 30 years, intellectual property laws have gotten stronger while the rights of workers to organize have been cut back.

We had a more equitable society when unions were stronger, taxes were more progressive, and anti-trust laws were enforced. This post by Geoff Davis serves as a reminder that there are remedies other than progressive taxation (which he regards as an after-the-fact remedy) to achieve that end.

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