Inequality has been increasing in most countries, in part because top 1% are capturing a higher fraction of all earnings but also for other reasons. I made a presentation to the Occupied Ottawa conference “Take Back Democracy!” on June 2nd, 2012. The presentation explores three issues in search of intelligent conversation, and in order to accomplish something constructive: description, explanation, and prescription.
You can download it as a pdf here: Understanding inequality and what to do about it .
There are three major sources for the material summarized in this presentation: the very important OECD study released in 2011 called Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising; a research paper summarizing the Canadian experience by a group of prominent labour economists at the University of British Columbia described in this post; and a presentation by Mike Veall of McMaster University, the Canadian expert on top income shares, to the University of Ottawa in February 2012.
My presentation ends by suggesting two sets of policy recommendations, one addressing labour market policies and institutions, and the other tax policies. But these are also discussed in my detail in an earlier post, which was part of the series I wrote last fall on “Inequality and Occupy Wall Street”.