Thursday, February 17, 2011

Who’s getting richer? The poor, or the rich?

Hayek Prize winner Steve Horwitz peers behind American figures to examine the notion that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.  The key concepts on which to focus are “income mobility,” and the total size of your pizza …

Of course, these statistics occurred before the arse fell out of the world economy—although this Op Ed explaining everything more succinctly did not.

PS: For an extra point, see if you can work out any statistical errors he’s made. You know, the sort to which journalists and Gordon Campbell are often prone. Fortunately, they’re being offered the chance to get schooled.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Michael said...

There was one statistic that was troubling and glossed over - the 5% who stay poor over time. Any studies on those households?

2/17/2011 08:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Wealth Inequality is a natural phenomena and we or anyone (including lawmakers) can't pretty much do anything thing about it. Any attempt via wealth re-distribution, will fail. As objectivists usual favorite line : 'A' is just 'A'. An attempt to change 'A' into 'B' will fail.

An interesting short article from New Scientist mag from a few years ago.

Why it is hard to share the wealth .

PS : For interested researchers in economics, sociology or policy advisors to politicians, the conference proceedings from Kolkata Saha Institue, mentioned in the New-Scientist article above has been published in : Econophysics of Wealth Distributions, which is available at Amazon.

2/18/2011 08:19:00 am  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Damn, I just posted my message and it disappeared. Here it is again.
---------------------------------

Wealth Inequality is a natural phenomenon and we or anyone (including lawmakers) can't pretty much do anything thing about it. Any attempt via wealth re-distribution, will fail. As objectivists usual favourite line : 'A' is just 'A'. An attempt to change 'A' into 'B' will fail.

An interesting short article from New Scientist mag from a few years ago.

Why it is hard to share the wealth .

PS : For interested researchers in economics, sociology or policy advisors to politicians, the conference proceedings from Kolkata Saha Institue in India, mentioned in the New-Scientist article above has been published in : Econophysics of Wealth Distributions, which is available at Amazon.

2/18/2011 08:36:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had a penny for every time I heard some retard mindlessly repeat that 'rich get richer' mantra, I'd be a millionaire, but I'm not, apparently that must be because poor people don't become rich.

Apart from class mobility, one of the most potent arguments I've seen against this braindead zombie-repeated slogan is Hans Rosling's 200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo

2/18/2011 03:57:00 pm  
Anonymous Marcus said...

Actually I'm not sure he's right.

It all depends on how "poor" is defined in the sentence.

If "poor" is defined as "that group who happens to be poor at a particular time relative to those who are rich", then the statement would be correct.

According to his opening statistics the poor now have a lower proportion of the wealth.

Then, "the rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer" is true.

2/18/2011 11:32:00 pm  
Anonymous Marcus said...

My point is that it is a moral argument and not a statistical argument that is needed.

Just because the poor are relatively poorer that the rich does not mean that they owe them a hand up.

2/18/2011 11:46:00 pm  

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