/The Inequality Index Politicians Should Discuss

The Inequality Index Politicians Should Discuss

At CNN’s most recent Democratic presidential primary debate, host Erin Burnett repeated the oft-cited claim that income inequality is growing at an alarming rate.

Burnett asked one of the candidates what they would do to close the expanding income gap? Unsurprisingly, the Democrat used the question to justify and pontificate about government interventions, higher taxes, and onerous regulations.

However, none of the Democrats on the stage or the moderators supposedly grilling them mentioned consumption inequality, a better measure of how the middle class is doing, according to some economists. (CNN)

But by framing the conversations about inequality around income instead of consumption, the Democratic candidates ignored the tremendous gains flowing to everyday consumers through technological and other efficiencies.

We examined this common economic narrative at Accuracy In Media, where we noted research from University of Chicago’s Bruce Meyer writing for the Manhattan Institute think tank: “Since 2006, the ratio of the 90th percentile to the 10th percentile shows rising inequality when incomes are compared, but a decline in inequality when consumption is examined.”