My summer reading list was about inequality and opportunity; you might like some of these books

If there is a thread running through the books I read this summer I suppose it is inequality: its causes and consequences; the real life and not so real life—but no less true—experiences of living these causes and experiencing the consequences; and what can—or for that matter can’t—be done about it.

The original ad in the Princeton University newspaper announcing the publication of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. Fitzgerald had been a student at the university. Source: The Daily Princetonian, April 18 1925 .

Inequality in earnings and incomes has been a very hot topic in labour economics for the last two decades, but the relevance of this research and its use in public policy discussion has now become strikingly clear.

My last academic year was dominated by the rise of inequality on the public and public policy radar screen, and I have been so tied up in these discussions that I was carried, as if on a train leaving the station, right along throughout the entire summer.

I re-read a speech President Obama made on the topic. Last December he spoke about a type of inequality that “hurts us all”, and made a link between equality of outcomes and equality of opportunities.

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How to give children the vote

The right to vote is an inherent right of all citizens, and the first and most important marker of the capacity to participate in the setting of social priorities.

Children should be given that right from birth. But until they reach the age of majority it should be exercised by proxy with the custodial parent or parents given an extra vote for every child under their guardianship.

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Inequality and CEO compensation are more important than the CBC suggests

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s senior correspondent Terry Milewski does a disservice in conveying the facts about inequality in his coverage of the now infamous report released earlier this week by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The report graphically documents the income gap between top earners and the rest of the population, the so-called average Joe, by pointing out that by noon on January 3rd—the first working day of the year—the top 100 CEOs in the country made as much as the average Canadian will during the entire year.

Continue reading “Inequality and CEO compensation are more important than the CBC suggests”