Economic Inequality and the American Dream

Equality of Opportunity and Socioeconomics

These are the notes taken in class on Friday, November 2nd about equality of opportunity and socioeconomics.

The Gatsby Curve:

  • upward mobility v. Gini Coefficient  (income inequality)
  • the closer the Gini Coefficient is to zero the lower the income inequality is.
  • the greater the mobility means there is less inequality.

Capitalism and Inequality:

  • While there is inequality involved with capitalism, capitalism does not make inequality worse over time.
  • Thomas Piketty, a famous French economist, claims that the inequality we see today is normal and what we saw in the period from the 1930s to the 1970s was actually abnormal.
  • Piketty infers that a high degree of inequality is inherient in capitalism.
  • In his book Thomas Piketty looks at old economic time periods in specific areas to catch patterns that could possible lead to an answer to what our future, in terms of the economy, looks like.
  • He imposes that we add a global tax that would tax all the wealthy people in the world.
    • We know that this is not a good idea because any wealth people, especially those with influence in politics, will deny this type of tax.

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