Saturday, January 9, 2016

Why Economists Took So Long to Focus on Inequality

Over at Bloomberg Views Justin Fox has an excellent article of the same name.  In fact it inspired my thoughts.  He does  a very good job of explaining the what--  needing data--  but not so much the why.   As always, "The Grail Question,"  -- Who does it Serve? helps us focus on understanding the underlying dynamics. 

The push for "data" to prove what we already know is a time honored delaying tactic.  It is endemic and, in  general, serves those who, we already know, will be disadvantaged once what we already know has been sufficiently "proven."

E.g. ,  We knew not only that there was growing inequality but that it is harmful to society ("children and other living things." ) Yet, for 30 years "no one had the data"  for what we all could see if we only looked. No one had the data for "welfare queens" either but that seemed more readily believed and influential in our economic and political discourse.  

End of the day--  there are plenty enough resources for education, mental health, health care, the 99%... It is just that it all resides in the pockets of those who are benefiting from a rigged system  (euphemism for--"they stole it !") and are "awaiting the date."

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