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Working and Living in the Shadow of Economic Fragility$
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Marion Crain and Michael Sherraden

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199988488

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199988488.001.0001

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A Model of American Inequality, Opportunity, and Political Power

A Model of American Inequality, Opportunity, and Political Power

Chapter:
(p.194) 11 A Model of American Inequality, Opportunity, and Political Power
Source:
Working and Living in the Shadow of Economic Fragility
Author(s):

Jared Bernstein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199988488.003.0011

This chapter presents a simple model wherein income inequality creates a wedge between economic growth and the living standards of middle- and low-income families. These families eventually face diminished opportunities and mobility. In addition, concentrated wealth interacts with the uniquely money-dominated American political system to promote inequality-inducing policies and to block inequality-reducing policies. The chapter presents evidence of some of the links in this chain and then discusses outcomes predicted by the model. Some of these outcomes are evident today.

Keywords:   concentration of income, economic growth, inequality, living standards, mobility, opportunity, political contributions, political system, wage stagnation, wealth

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