Words & Numbers


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Insightful weekly commentary on news & current events from economist Antony Davies and political scientist James R. Harrigan.

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A Culture of Envy

December 25, 2019

People tend to talk about income inequality as if it were necessarily a bad thing. In so doing, they often confuse inequality and poverty and, in the process, run the risk of justifying what is really envy. This week, James and Ant discuss the fact that poverty is a bad thing, whether inequality could be a bad thing, and that politicians use voters’ envy to expand the government’s power.

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Quick hits


How much Americans have in 401k plans, by age

401k returns

Student loan interest rates

Bernie’s now a millionaire

Foolishness of the week

A national smoking age-01

A national smoking age-02

Topic of the week

US poverty rate

Facts about income mobility

Inequality after taxes and transfers

Inheriting wealth

Intergenerational income

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Popular YouTube host Kevin Lieber (VSauce2) hosts this informative and entertaining video series designed to introduce key concepts of economics to younger audiences through credible arguments, comedy... And puppets!

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