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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…
Dee and Deirdre featured on Channel 4’s Benefits Street. Joe Giddens/PA Wire

It’s easy to hate ‘poverty porn’ but harder to fight inequality

George Osborne’s recent announcement that households would receive personalised “annual tax statements” allowing them to track how their taxes are spent has been heavily criticised as manipulative and…
Employable, but lacking employment options. michaeljung/Shutterstock

The government must focus on employment, not employability

The number of professional and middle-class managerial jobs has shrunk, according to a new study by researchers at Oxford University. This is bad news for Britain’s graduates and represents a worrying…
News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch has been given plenty of opportunities to air his agenda ahead of the G20 summit. Jason Reed/Reuters Pool/AAP

Murdoch discovers inequality, but he’s not on ‘Team Australia’

Rupert Murdoch’s special address to an exclusive meeting of the world’s most powerful finance ministers got a second airing this week. In a breathless front-page “exclusive” in The Australian, Paul Kelly…
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 Slave Trade painted by a French abolitionist artist.

Slavery in America: back in the headlines

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…
Australia’s highest paid CEO Nicholas Moore saw his salary grow to $13.1 million this year. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

CEO pay study shows how much Australians tolerate inequality

Almost everyone in a study soon to be published in Perspectives on Psychological Science thinks chief executive officers are paid significantly too much - almost everyone it suggests, except Australians…
Be fair, lad. Warren Goldswain

The human race evolved to be fair for selfish reasons

“Make sure you play fairly,” often say parents to their kids. In fact, children do not need encouragement to be fair, it is a unique feature of human social life, which emerges in childhood. When given…
Counting your blessings. A worker at a chocolate factory in Germany. Jan Woitas/EPA

German labour markets put Europe’s workforce in the firing line

Germany’s strategy for export-led growth has set the Eurozone up for a fall. Plans to introduce minimum wages in 2015 might be too little too late for European countries locked in a futile game of beggar-thy-workforce…
Mourners at the funeral of Michael Brown on August 25. St.Louise Post-Dispath/Pool/EPA

Epidemic of rights abuse fails black kids across the US

As the world grapples with the containment of diseases such as Ebola, there is another epidemic that demands attentive responses, policies, and actions. It is one of grave proportions regarding the violation…
Generation austerity no longer believes the future will be better than the present. lilgamerboy14

Austerity has hampered our ability to imagine a better future

In the UK and other parts of the Western world, the notion that we are progressing towards a better future has been a consistent, if not entirely uninterrupted, ideal. But in recent years, this idea seems…
Has our use of economics language been a real driver of economic growth? Cau Napoli Collettivo Autorganizzato Universitario di Napoli/Flickr

Speak well of the bourgeois, and prosper

Do the words we use to speak of economic matters, matter? I believe they do, but not by the propagation of textbookish jargon. Rather, the main way they matter is in shaping public ethics. Economics has…
Poorer people are more vulnerable to the impact of extreme weather events. Pictured: the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. DFID - UK Department for International Development/Flickr

Climate change will widen the social and health gap

Climate projections suggest that, thanks to human activity, we will likely see an increase in extreme weather events, disruptions to agriculture, loss of livelihoods and displacement of people. While everyone…

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