Monday, December 21, 2015

Income inequality: Households are not people

Distinguished Harvard economist Martin Feldstein penned a recent column in the Wall Street Journal making the point that economic differences are less drastic than advertised.

He writes:
The Federal Reserve recently estimated total household net worth in the U.S. to be about $80 trillion, including real estate and financial assets. And data from the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances imply that the top 10% of households by net worth hold about 75%—or $60 trillion—of this total. The bottom 90% of households therefore have a net worth of about $20 trillion.
But, as he notes, this picture “leaves out the large amount of wealth held in the form of future retirement benefits from Social Security and Medicare”:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

'The most honest three and a half minutes on television, ever'?

A few years ago, an anti-American television tirade went viral. Typically, such a rant would not escape the boundaries of Hollywood, but this one has collected millions of YouTube views and has been hailed as the “most honest three and a half minutes on television, ever.” But it’s propaganda.

The harangue aired on the popular TV series, “The Newsroom.” Will McAvoy, fictional news anchor, is asked by a college student, “What makes America the greatest country in the world?” Here is his response: