AEI Paper & Studies

Articles from March

2014's Real Economic Challenge
No, the worst economic idea of the year wasn't Obamacare. First of all, that was the worst idea of 2010 (though it's still around, so perhaps the Worst Economic Idea of the Year Award should just be renamed the Obamacare Award and given to the second-worst...
AEI Special Poll Report: Health Care and the Affordable Care Act (March 2014)
Few pieces of contemporary legislation have received as much scrutiny and attention as the Affordable Care Act. Few have been as divisive. This document makes it possible to see nine major pollsters' trends on the bill and the law. For each pollster,...
A New Measure of Consumption Inequality
FOREWORD As the election draws closer, the buzz about inequality and middleclass welfare is reaching a crescendo. The perception of a rapidly growing gap between the nation's wealthiest and poorest citizens has created fervent discussion in the...
Beyond Ready, Fire, Aim: New Solutions to Old Problems in College Remediation
Executive Summary College completion remains a major problem in the United States. Less than 60 percent of students enrolling in four-year colleges graduate within six years, and only 30 percent of students seeking an associate's degree who enroll...
Consumption and the Myths of Inequality
In multiple campaign speeches over the past week, President Obama has emphasized a theme central to Democratic campaigns across the country this year: inequality. Blasting a caricature of his opponent's economic policies, Mr. Obama has said, "it's...
Define Income Inequality
Democrats are revving up for a huge national "conversation" on income inequality. This is in no small part because the Obama administration and congressional Democrats would rather talk about anything other than Obamacare. But it would be unfair...
Developments in Ukraine
Views of Russia have deteriorated sharply recently. While Americans support acting in concert with our European allies, they are very leery of the US acting alone or of any kind of military action. As the previous page shows, Americans appear divided...
Fostering Upward Economic Mobility in the United States
Executive Summary While the national conversation continues to focus on income inequality and the minimum wage, the level of opportunity for economic mobility in the United States is astonishingly low. In a recent paper, Harvard University economist...
If You Really Care about Ending Poverty, Stop Talking about Inequality
Economic inequality is the "defining challenge of our time," President Barack Obama declared in a speech last month to the Center for American Progress. Inequality is dangerous, he argued, not merely because it's unseemly to have a large gap between...
Income Inequality in the United States
I. Introduction Simply defined, income inequality is the gap between the incomes or earnings of individuals at different levels of the income distribution. A typical way to measure income inequality is to first define how we measure income for a...
Introduction
Washington is abuzz with talk of income inequality. President Barack Obama calls it "the defining challenge of our time." Senator Harry Reid says there is "no greater challenge" facing America. The media declares the issue will dominate the debates...
More Than the Minimum Wage
Minimum-wage fever is gripping the nation--again. President Obama proposed an increase in the minimum wage from its current level, $7.25 per hour, to $9 per hour in his 2013 State of the Union address, and in his December 4 speech on economic mobility...
Moving Forward on the ACA
The health care law is not popular, but that doesn't mean Americans want to scrap it and start over. We show below a question asked by CBS News four times recently. Most people pick the middle option--there are some good things in the law, but some...
Not So Modest: Pension Benefits for Full-Career State Government Employees
In presenting their benefits as "modest," public pension plans and employee advocates commonly cite low average payments to retirees. For instance, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) declares that "the average...
Should the Top Marginal Income Tax Rate Be 73 Percent?
In this article, Mathur, Slavov, and Strain respond to the argument by Peter Diamond and Emmanuel Saez that the socially optimal top marginal income tax rate is around 73 percent, with a range from 54 to 80 percent. The authors argue that Diamond and...
The Inequality Illusion
"As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more complex and more mysterious."--Albert Schweitzer The state of debate on income inequality has reached exactly this juncture. To see why, consider the following. A...
The Practice of Science in a Democratic Society
This essay is the ninth in a series exploring the role of the professions in a modern, liberal democratic society and their effect on the civic culture of the nation. For more information about AEI's Program on American Citizenship, visit www.citizenship-aei.org....
The Uninsured
The early reactions of the uninsured to the Affordable Care Act are mixed, even though 74 percent of them say health care affordability for them and their families is a hardship. A majority of the uninsured in a December CBS News/New York Times poll...
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