Over at the Foundation for Economic Education, Iain Murray and I give a short preview of our two forthcoming CEI papers on income inequality and poverty relief.
In the first, “People, Not Ratios: Priorities, Please,” we argue that inequality in itself is not the problem — poverty is.
Piketty and Krugman’s focus on income inequality treats people like statistics. Instead, we should focus on individuals’ actual standards of living and on ways to empower them — as individuals — to improve their lot.
In the second paper, “Policies to Help the Poor,” we suggest a policy agenda to make poor and middle-class individuals better off in absolute terms.
Of course, the elimination of global poverty is a bigger topic than even the longest think tank policy paper can fully address, so we focus on some key regulatory actions that can have a significant impact, such as ensuring access to affordable energy, easing access to capital for entrepreneurs, ending minimum wages to create greater employment opportunities for the young and low-skilled, and repealing compulsory collective bargaining laws that hurt nonunion workers.
Read the whole thing here; the papers will be released soon.