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Dec 25, 2019

People tend to talk about income inequality as if it were necessarily a bad thing. In so doing, they often confuse inequality and poverty and, in the process, run the risk of justifying what is really envy. This week, James and Ant discuss the fact that poverty is a bad thing, whether inequality could be a bad thing, and that politicians use voters’ envy to expand the government’s power.

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Quick hits

HELPER

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/rand-paul-to-offer-bill-allowing-families-to-use-retirement-savings-for-student-loans-2019-12-04

How much Americans have in 401k plans, by age

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/23/how-much-money-americans-have-in-their-401ks-at-every-age.html

401k returns

https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/401ks/articles/what-is-the-average-401-k-return

Student loan interest rates

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loans/student-loans/student-loan-interest-rates/

Bernie’s now a millionaire

https://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/3006320/critic-millionaires-and-billionaires-bernie-sanders

Foolishness of the week

A national smoking age

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/20/health/tobacco-age-21-trump-spending-bill-bn/index.html

https://disrn.com/news/congress-votes-to-raise-age-to-buy-tobacco-to-21

Topic of the week

US poverty rate

https://poverty.ucdavis.edu/faq/what-current-poverty-rate-united-states

Facts about income mobility

https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/some-amazing-findings-on-income-mobility-in-the-us-including-this-the-image-of-a-static-1-and-99-percent-is-false/

Inequality after taxes and transfers

https://voxeu.org/article/income-redistribution-through-taxes-and-transfers

Inheriting wealth

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rainerzitelmann/2019/06/24/amazing-facts-that-prove-inheritance-is-mostly-overrated-as-a-reason-for-wealth/#39759c11eca3

Intergenerational income

https://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2012/pursuingamericandreampdf.pdf

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