The latest Census data is out on income levels by ethnicity. The good news is that the latest data flatly contradict the left’s narrative that America is “systematically racist.” As the chart below shows, by far the most affluent group is NOT whites, but Asians.
John C. Goodman
Obamacare spending has now reached $214 billion a year, insuring people through Medicaid (which is mostly contracted out to private insurers) and the Obamacare exchanges. At $1,731 for every household in America, that’s a great deal of money being transferred from taxpayers to insurance companies every year.
So, what are we getting in return?
One scholarly study finds there has been no overall increase in health care utilization in the U.S. since the enactment of Obamacare. The number of doctor visits per capita actually fell over the last decade.
See my latest post at Forbes.
2 1/2 miles. It’s not very long. Only slightly longer than the National Mall in Washington. Not even 2/3 of the length of the Las Vegas Strip.
But also … it can be the distance between two different worlds. In fact, 2 1/2 miles is the distance between Australia and Papua New Guinea at their nearest point, in the Torres Strait.
In Papua New Guinea, the national wealth averages out to about $3,500 per person per year. In Australia, it averages out to around $65,000 per person per year. Two-and-a-half miles apart … and nearly 20 times wealthier. How does this kind of thing happen? Actually, we know the answer. Because it turns out that the secret to how nations get wealthy … isn’t really a secret at all.
Almost all NFL football players are potentially rich. A career lasting 6 years (the median length) will provide an NFL player with more earnings than an average college graduate will get in an entire lifetime, plus a modest pension. Yet within 12 years after retirement, 12.7% of players have filed for bankruptcy (presumably becoming “poor.”)
Seniors are not getting the Social Security benefits they deserve after years of working and paying taxes. Because of bad and misleading information from Social Security itself:
- The typical retiree is leaving $182,370 (in present-value terms) on the table by claiming benefits too soon.
- 13,000 plus widow(er)s collectively have lost $130 million in Social Security benefits because of mistakes in claiming spousal benefits. (Apparently, Social Security routinely gives out bad information.)
- Married couples also lose thousands of dollars because they make mistakes in claiming spousal benefits.
American Enterprise Institute economist James Pethokoukis:
- People don’t care about inequality. They would rather have opportunity.
- Many extremely useful consumer products exist only because initially there were rich people who could afford them (e.g., automobiles, cell phones, etc.) In time the cost comes down and they are available for everyone. No rich people, no car. No cell phone.
- Economist William Nordhaus has found that innovators (despite their becoming billionaires) only capture a small fraction, 2.2 percent, of the social value created by their technological advances, with the majority of benefits going to consumers.
- There has been no significant increase in inequality of income over the past 40 years.
- There has been no significant increase in inequality of wealth over the last three decades – especially if you include Social Security wealth.
Not to poor people, it turns out.
It goes to landlords, doctors, hospitals, agribusiness, the education industry, etc.
We have 130 to 140 different anti-poverty programs. Of these, 25 are different food programs.
The federal government is spending $1 trillion a year; and states and localities spend $700 to $800 billion.
Here is an article published in the highly respected Journal of Political Economy. Articles in this journal are peer reviewed by some of the top economists in the country. Although the article itself is gated (you can buy it for $30), the conclusion of the study is publicly available…
Notice that this estimate is very similar to the estimate made by John Early, Phil Gramm, and Robert Ekelund in their book, The Myth of American inequality: How Government Biases Policy Debate.
Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics), Emmanuel Saez (University of California at Berkeley) and Gabriel Zucman (University of California at Berkeley) – herein after PSZ – in a paper called “Rethinking Capital and Wealth Taxation,” advocate taxing billionaires with a progressive wealth tax.
Here is a nontechnical explanation of the issues at Vox.