On this week's Ricochet Money & Politics Podcast, Jim's guest is Richard Burkhauser, economics professor at Cornell University. Prof. Burkhauser and his team at Cornell have done some amazing research that gives a much different perspective on the issue of income inequality. The mainstream media opinion holds that middle-class income have gone nowhere for 30 years while the income gap between the rich and everybody else has widened.
Underlying that thesis is the work of two economists, Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez. According to them, median American incomes, adjusted for inflation, rose just 3.2% from 1979 through 2007.
But it’s just not true, according to Burkhauser. He finds that median household income – properly measured – rose 36.7%, not 3.2% as Piketty and Saez argue.
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