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.

What's new on AEI

Making Ryan's tax plan smarter
image The teacher evaluation confronts the future
image How to reform the US immigration system
image Inversion hysteria
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 01
    MON
  • 02
    TUE
  • 03
    WED
  • 04
    THU
  • 05
    FRI
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
From anarchy to Augustus: Lessons on dealing with disorder, from Rome’s first emperor

We invite you to join us for two panel discussions on how Augustus created order from chaos 2,000 years ago, and what makes for durable domestic and international political systems in the 21st century.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Multiple choice: Expanding opportunity through innovation in K–12 education

Please join us for a book launch event and panel discussion about how a marketplace of education options can help today's students succeed in tomorrow's economy. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the featured book.

Thursday, September 04, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
How conservatives can save the safety net

Please join us for a luncheon event in which our panel will discuss what conservatives can learn from how liberals talk and think about the safety net and where free-market economics, federalism, and social responsibility intersect to lift people out of poverty.

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