The New York Times (Opinion)
By: Bruce Cornibe
April 13, 2014
To the Editor:
The rich keep getting richer while the poor get poorer. That's a catchy adage but doesn't tell the whole story.
Income inequality has risen over the last several decades, but this measure isn't the only way to assess equality. The quality and quantity of consumer goods between income groups has narrowed, allowing low- and middle-income earners to afford many of the same products as high-income earners. Consider smartphones; the very rich carry around the same iPhone as middle-class teenagers.
A second factor is income mobility, or the ability of people to move up the income ladder over time. To the consternation of many economic equality advocates, income mobility has actually remained stable over the years. A Harvard study determined that "measures of intergenerational mobility have remained extremely stable for the 1971-1993 birth cohorts."
Income inequality has risen, but that in itself does not harm the poor or middle class. What will harm workers is additional barriers to job creation, namely unpredictable regulations and ever-increasing taxation.