Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Not So Great Society

The government has not helped reduce income inequality:
“At the bottom and middle of the earnings distribution, structural changes to the labor market over the past several decades have overwhelmed these gains, causing both the racial working gap and median earnings gap to widen significantly since 1970,” said the report, titled “Divergent Paths: Structural Change, Economic Rank, and the Evolution of Black-White Earnings Differences, 1940-2014.”

Those damaging structural changes have shifted income away from lower-skilled white and black Americans towards toward whites and blacks with more sophisticated education. Some of these structural changes are caused by government — for example, increased immigration, federal tax and trade policies — and some are caused by technological changes that allow high-skilled people to earn a growing share of the national pie, the report said. “The sharp increase in the [income] gap since 1980 is explained completely by structural changes to the earnings distribution,” the report said.

The structural changes have had a huge impact on lower-skilled Africans-Americans — and on similar whites, says the report. “Our analysis points to the incredible lack of progress and, in many case, regress in closing the gaps in labor market outcomes for black and white men in the United States over the past seven-plus decades,” says the report.
And yet, many low-income whites and blacks keep voting for those who claim things will be otherwise...

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