Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Ruy Teixeira discusses Branko Milanovic's finding that on a global scale, income inequality is almost entirely locked in based on an individual's place of birth and parents' income:
Milanovic asks “How much of your income is determined at birth?”  The answer: 80 percent of your income can be accounted for by the country of your birth and the income level of your parents.  That leaves just 20 percent for age, sex, race, luck and, of course, hard work.  Wow.

In the final section of his book, Milanovic looks at global inequality in the broadest possible context—the level of inequality among all individuals in the world, irrespective of nation.  These levels are very high.  The world gini is around 70, higher than even such profoundly unequal societies as Brazil and South Africa which are “only” around 60.  Given such a high level, it is perhaps not a surprise that, according to Milanovic, the bottom 77 percent of the world’s population receives only 20 percent of the world’s income.  At the other end, the richest 1.75 percent of the world’s population also receives 20 percent of the world’s income, as does the next richest 3.6 percent.  So a little more than 5 percent of the world’s population receives 40 percent of total world income.  Now that’s inequality!
- Of course, one of the most sure ways of smoothing out global imbalances is to allow people to change location. And Natalie Brender writes about the Cons' moves to instead stigmatize immigrants at every turn - including by turning raids into reality TV.

- Meanwhile, Unmuzzled Science documents the Cons' whipped Parliamentary vote against the very idea of science.

- Barbara Yaffe overlooks the obvious problems in political non-competition pacts by pitching yet another version - with the sole "analysis" consisting of adding together raw 2011 vote totals in the absence of any recognition that all non-Con votes are not necessarily interchangeable. But Chantal Hebert recognizes that Labrador is yet another example where the elimination of voter choices figures to do more harm than good.

- Finally, Erin Weir makes the point that both Saskatchewan's overall fiscal picture and the economic case for Keystone XL would look a lot better if the Wall government cared about getting a fair return for publicly-owned resources.

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