Just Right Income Inequality

Many would argue that a certain level of income inequality is necessary if any country is to enjoy a healthy, growing economy -- that it provides an incentive to strive and innovate.  Many who would agree with this argument would also agree that the relationship between income inequality and economic outcomes follows an inverted U-shape so that increases in income inequality improve economic performance up to a point and then reduce it.  Given that argument, many are now speculating that, if we have not already reached it, we are rapidly approaching a tipping point … the peak of the U-shape … at which further income inequality will no longer provide an economic benefit.

Is there some “just right” level of income inequality?  If so, on which side of “just right” are we?  Are there other considerations to income inequality than its impact on the state of the economy?


Please note: This meeting has been rescheduled from Monday, April 28th to Monday, May 5th.


Join or login to comment.

  • Bob P.

    For why there's inequality, see Wealth Happens http://www.exponentialimprovement.com/cms/wealthhappens.shtml

    It's seldom the smartest or most efficient who win at the game, Monopoly. It's that those who first get ahead tend to get even further ahead and those who first get behind tend to get even further behind.

    The HBR article, "Wealth Happens," describes from a complexity theory perspective that disparities in wealth happen naturally, even when everyone starts out with equal ability and resources. Extremes in the distribution of wealth are greater when capital gains taxes are lower & when sales taxes are higher.

    The dynamic is "path dependence" in system dynamics, the result of two interacting positive feedback loops.

    Right-wing "conservative" policies put this dynamic on steroids, making the game rigged to drive millions into poverty. Labor should even not be considered a "free market" commodity because people should not be widgets, even if supply & demand were not rigged.

    May 5, 2014

  • Kitty M.

    I just want to make sure everyone got the message that the meeting tonight (4/28/14) is cancelled and will be rescheduled.

    April 28, 2014

  • Gary H.

    As with most of reality, there is no "just right". We live on a continuum where we oscollate across a range of characteristics. Sure, some variation in income distribution could be expected to effect performance. If a significant percentage of the population feels that the game is rigged and they can't benefit by playing, they will go away. ( become a welfare cheat or a public land cattle grazer). While those who feel they are "winning", will play the game more aggressively.
    Where we as a society would like to be on the continuum has already been selected and adjustments made; about the time of the election of Ronnie Regan.
    The real question is, Are YOU enjoying the game??

    April 27, 2014

  • Gned the G.

    I think of income inequality as more of a result, side effect, or maybe a symptom, rather than a cause. Any attempts to force equality of income or other condition would further distort and injure the economy, so the poor would suffer the most. A true libertarian capitalist economy would keep only the laws which prohibit fraud and violence, and get rid of the excess regulations which prevent the little guy from starting their own businesses and being able to compete on a level playing field. The resulting freedom and free market competition would make the big companies have to compete on the basis of how well they actually serve the customer, resulting in more prosperity for all and less income inequality.

    April 22, 2014

6 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create a Meetup Group and meet new people

Get started Learn more
Bill

I started the group because there wasn't any other type of group like this. I've met some great folks in the group who have become close friends and have also met some amazing business owners.

Bill, started New York City Gay Craft Beer Lovers

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy