Prices, Poverty, and Inequality: Why Americans Are Better Off Than You Think
Book Forum

Conventional wisdom states that the economic well-being of all but the wealthiest Americans has stagnated or declined over the past twenty-five years. In Prices, Poverty, and Inequality: Why Americans Are Better Off Than You Think, Christian Broda and David E. Weinstein argue that this idea is based on misleading measurements of income and poverty.

The consumer price index used to compute official measures of real wages and poverty ignores two key sources of increased prosperity: the impact that the introduction of new and better products has on Americans' well-being and the consumer's ability to substitute less expensive goods for goods that have become more expensive. Rather than accepting the common notion that wages have barely kept up with price increases, the authors argue that the measurements used to calculate the cost of living have failed to keep up with economic reality. Adjusting income and poverty measures to fully account for the benefits of new and improved products--such as cellular phones, vehicle air bags, pharmaceuticals, and computers--and the consumer's ability to substitute goods reveals that Americans in every income group are substantially better off economically than they were a quarter-century ago.

At this event, Weinstein will be joined by AEI's Douglas J. Besharov, Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institution, and David Johnson of the U.S. Census Bureau. AEI’s Henry Olsen will moderate.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Henry
Olsen
  • Henry Olsen, a lawyer by training, is the director of AEI's National Research Initiative. In that capacity, he identifies leading academics and public intellectuals who work in an aspect of domestic public policy and recruits them to visit or write for AEI. Mr. Olsen studies and writes about the policy and political implications of long-term trends in social, economic, and political thought.

 

David E.
Weinstein

What's new on AEI

image The money in banking: Comparing salaries of bank and bank regulatory employees
image What Obama should say about China in Japan
image A key to college success: Involved dads
image China takes the fight to space
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.