During the mid-1980s, economists became aware that something unexpected was happening to the distribution of income in the United States. After three decades during which the income distribution had remained relatively stable, wages and incomes rapidly became more unequal. Academic researchers soon began arguing vigorously about the causes of the growth in inequality: was it global competition, government policy, changing technology, or some other factor? What nobody, whatever his or her political stripe, questioned was the fact that there had been a dramatic change in income distribution.The article is worth reading...
During 1992 this genteel academic discussion gave way to a public debate, carried out in the pages of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and assorted popular magazines. This public debate was remarkable in two ways. First, the conservative side displayed great ferocity in presenting its case and attacking its opponents. Second, conservatives chose to take an odd, and ultimately indefensible, position. They could legitimately have challenged those who have called attention to the growing dispersion of income on the grounds that nothing can, or at any rate should, be done about it. But with only a few exceptions they chose instead to make their stand on the facts to deny that the massive increase in inequality had happened. Since the facts were not on their side, they were forced into an extraordinary series of attempts at statistical distortion.
The whole episode teaches us two lessons. At one level, it is a sort of textbook demonstration of the uses and abuses of statistics. This article reviews that lesson, tracing out how conservatives tried to distort the record and why they were wrong. But the combination of mendacity and sheer incompetence displayed by the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Treasury Department, and a number of supposed economic experts demonstrates something else: the extent of the moral and intellectual decline of American conservatism.
[ cf The Rich, the Right, and the Facts
Deconstructing the Income Distribution Debate
Paul Krugman | November 30, 1992
( emphasis mine ) ]
And of course it so good, some 16 years later to see how far the nation has come.
Except of course for the GOD HATING AMERICA BASHERS who are stabbing our troops in the back to support radical left wing communist negro agenda items...