Tom Toles’ recent cartoon in The Washington Post lampoons (most, i.e. orthodox) economists’ puzzlement over the growing income and wealth gap. The suggestion made by Toles’ alter ego (the tiny cartoonist in the corner) that we “start outsourcing those economists’ jobs” reminds us of Dean Baker’s suggestion, in The Conservative Nanny State (excerpted in the July/August 2006 issue of Dollars & Sense): “If government policies ensure that specific types of workers (e.g. doctors, lawyers, economists) are in relatively short supply, then they ensure that these workers will do better than the types of [less-skilled] workers who are plentiful.”
The current issue of Dollars & Sense examines the income and wealth gaps: in John Miller’s rejoinder to the editors of The Wall Street Journal that the wealthy are taxed, if anything, too much; in James Cypher’s article on the growth of the income and wealth gaps since 2000; and in Ramaa Vasudevan’s “Ask Dr. Dollar” column on the alleged “double-taxation” of corporations. See also Chuck Collins’s article on Washington State voters’ collective decision not to repeal the estate tax.
And don’t miss The Onion‘s incisive reportage on the structural issues underlying Sunday’s Academy Awards cermony: Oscars Reveal Widening Gap Between Best, Worst Dressed. An excerpt:
Oscar night fashion, which many experts use as a bellwether for the state of celebrity gorgeousness nationwide, has shown in recent years a high concentration of couture in the hands of a few, with Halle Berry alone commanding over 57 percent of the nation’s supply of sexy yet exquisitely tasteful gowns.
“We can’t just assume that because Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Aniston, and Kate Winslet look amazing, everything is okay,” said Rivers, as celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch and In Touch magazine fashion commentator Goumba Johnny nodded in solemn agreement. “For every Sarah Jessica Parker, there’s an overdressed underclass of Mary-Kate Olsens and Paula Abduls.”