13 Jan 2017

The economist who had the measure of inequality.

Image result for gap between rich and poor cartoons
Book: Inequality: What Can be Done? by Tony Atkinson

This is an extract from an article written by Andrew Leigh

It focused on policy solutions to the rising gap between rich and poor. These included guaranteed public employment at the minimum wage, encouraging innovation that improves employability, stronger union power, and more foreign aid. Atkinson also proposed that competition policy should explicitly take account of inequality.

He created his own inequality measure (the Atkinson Index), devised a novel technique for estimating wealth inequality from inheritance data, and shook up public finance through his work on optimal taxation with Joseph Stiglitz (who would go on to win the Nobel Prize).

The ever increasing gap of wealth inequality is dangerouse for democratic countries because it opens the door for extemists, we see this from the rise of minor parties.

Some believe is due to lack of trust in parties. No the underlying reason is inequality, there are a growing number of people who think they have been ignored and left behind.
Wealth there is no trickle down, its all trickling up, it is denying gravity, either the tap(read democracy) will be torn down by extremists or governments will have to turn the faucet on little.

Tony Atkinson died on January 1, aged 72