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Income inequality

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Protestors have been rallying for a “living wage” across the country in recent years, including at this one last month in Washington. Reuters

It’s time we revived FDR’s ‘wages of a decent living’

A noxious combination of falling wages, income inequality at its highest since the 1920s and a growing low-wage sector has caused the ranks of the working poor to swell to more than 47 million. That’s…
Activists dressed as musicians and wearing masks depicting leaders of the members of the G7 protest against wealth inequality in Brussels in June. Reuters

The wealthy suffer from an ‘empathy gap’ with the poor that is feeding a rise in inequality

Wealth and income inequality have many causes, and it’s pretty much beyond dispute that any well-functioning capitalist society will have some degree of disparity between the richest and the poorest. It’s…
Is the right to pursue happiness equally available to all Americans? Josh Hallett

The fragile American Dream: insights from the economics of happiness

Foundation essay: This article is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the US. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis articles and take a wider look…
The difference between CEO and average workers' pay is much greater than most people imagine, but Australians' idea of the ideal ratio is higher than elsewhere. Shutterstock/albund

Do Australians still believe in the fair go? Views on pay suggest not

A recently published study produced some revealing findings on beliefs about inequality in a range of countries around the world. The study, by Chulalongkorn University’s Sorapop Kiatpongsan and Harvard…
Less cash to spend on artisan olives? Dan Cunningham

How to stop the middle class getting poorer and poorer

Since the 1950s, with a few rare exceptions in the 1970s, the middle class – all over the world – has been getting worse off. Specifically, the middle class’ purchasing power, as with that of the working…
How well does the budget “share” the pain around and by what definitions of fairness? AAP/Lukas Coch

Defining what is meant by ‘fair’ in Hockey’s budget

Joe Hockey says that this budget shares the pain. But what is the right share for whom? This budget is like all the others – it lacks a compass that tells us the overall effect of government spending and…
Under scrutiny. Fairy_Nuff

British bosses should be paid more, but bonuses are risky

The global market for CEOs is highly competitive. Shareholders may not like it – and the general public might like it less – but that means British companies could and should be increasing the pay of the…
Once universally thought of as an egalitarian country, what’s happened to wealth and income inequality in Australia in recent decades? AAP/Dan Peled

Income and wealth inequality: how is Australia faring?

The Conversation is running a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations. Here, Peter Whiteford investigates what has happened to income and wealth inequality…

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