Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Good Old Days Are Gone

Paul Krugman provides a graph that shows spending on enriching activities for children.  Spending on childhood enrichment has been rising steadily by families in the to top 20%.  It has been flat or falling for the bottom 80%.  He used that information as another counter to Greg Mankiw's defense of the top 1%.  Children who are lucky enough to have parents in the top 20% have real advantages over kids from the bottom 80%.  Those advantages translate into future income advantages as well.

Many believe that the rise in inequality is the result of market forces that are beyond our control.  This article suggests that the rise in inequality was the result of policy changes that have carefully pursued over the last 40 years.  We may be experiencing inequality by design.  Many believe that it got started by an article written by Lewis Powell to the US Chamber Of Commerce.  Powell was concerned about public opinion in the US which had a dim view of our free enterprise system.  He urged executives to take specific actions to reverse the unfavorable trend in the 60's.  It became a blueprint for restoring corporate control over public opinion and the political system. 

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