Thursday, December 1, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, July 9, 2012
The Inequality Fetish
By NCPA @ 10:42 PM :: 4232 Views :: National News, Ethics

The Inequality Fetish


According to liberals, either the 2008 financial crisis and its attendant recession, or the sluggish recovery -- and maybe both -- can be attributed in large part to the high level of economic inequality in the United States. In this view, inequality is an economic malady on its own, even in times of prosperity, says Patrick Brennan, a William F. Buckley Fellow at the National Review Institute.

This narrative has been latched onto by many in the field of economics, who then attach their names to the legitimacy of the narrative. The problem, however, is simply this: there is no real evidence that a nation's income inequality either dampens economic growth or worsens financial crises.

  • The best evidence for a causal link between inequality and economic growth, which provided fodder for so many subsequent claims by progressives, is an International Monetary Fund paper that suggests economic booms last longer and are steadier in countries with less income inequality.
  • This study, however, relied upon case studies of countries like Cameroon and Colombia, which have a number of idiosyncrasies and such severe income inequality that basic economic theory predicts adverse economic outcomes.
  • When this sort of study is confined to relevant nations, such as those industrialized countries of the 20th century, no such correlation is found.

There is also almost no evidence that economic inequality causes financial crises.

  • As a recent paper by Michael Bordo and Christopher Meissner argues, there is no "general relationship" between inequality and credit booms and crises.
  • They acknowledge that it isn't hard to find a correlation between the two, but they assert that these two dynamics are also correlated with a huge number of other economic factors, making meaningful extrapolation impossible.
  • Mark Thoma, a liberal professor of economics at the University of Oregon, supports this conclusion, admitting that there is little evidence one way or the other as to income inequalities effects on financial crises.
  • Much of the evidence supposedly supporting this liberal narrative stems from the most recent recession and the Great Depression, both of which also have much more traditional, widely accepted causes other than national income inequality.

Source: Patrick Brennan, "The Inequality Fetish," National Review, June 22, 2012.


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life 

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii