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More Mischief About Income Inequality

In September, the renowned RAND Corporation released a meticulously detailed, scrupulously objective study about income inequality in the United States: “Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018.” The authors of the study, Carter C. Price and Kathryn A. Edwards, adhered to the highest standards of scholarly integrity. The study opens with the statement, “The three decades following the Second World War saw a period of economic growth that was shared across the income distribution, but inequality in taxable income has increased substantially over the last four decades.” The data support that conclusion, although one could have a healthy debate as to whether economic inequality is more meaningfully measured by taxable income (as in the RAND study) or by actual consumption, taking into account taxes and government transfers. The authors go on to “estimate that aggregate income for the population below the 90th percentile [i.e., the lowest-earning tenth of Americans] over …