- Joachim Hubmer, Per Krusell and Anthony A. Smith, Jr. study the causes of wealth inequality in the U.S. and find one clear explanation for the stratification between the rich and the rest:
There is one main finding: by far the most important driver is the significant drop in tax progressivity that started in the late 1970s, intensified during the Reagan years, and then subsequently flattened out, with only a minor bounce back. The sharp observed increases in earnings inequality, the falling labor share over the recent decades, and potential mechanisms underlying changes in the gap between the interest rate and the growth rate (Piketty's r-g story) all fall far short of accounting for the data.- Meanwhile, Jared Bernstein charts the lack of any correlation between tax giveaways to the rich and economic development (as measured by GDP and employment).
- Alan Pyke reports on Bloomberg's estimate that the world's richest 500 people increased their personal wealth by a combined $237 billion this past year alone. And Hugh MacKenzie reminds us that Canada's CEOs rake in more money in a single morning than most workers will earn all year.
- Ben Judah highlights how London's real estate market (like that of other cities) has been inflated by kleptocrats from around the globe.
- Thomas Homer-Dixon discusses the need for Canada to step up the fight against climate change. And Chris Mooney offers another reminder that actual data shows that we're doing even more damage to our planet than has long been feared - which may explain why the Wall government is going out of its way to undermine even basic scientific knowledge and education in Saskatchewan.
- And finally, the Council of Canadians shares Maude Barlow's laudable national vision for 2017.