Inequality in America: Assessing the Evidence

The Freedom Center Spring 2020 Colloquium Series presents Phil Magness, Senior Research Fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research.

Phil Magness is an economic historian and a Senior Research Fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. Among other things, Professor Magness has done work on black colonization during the Civil War era, the economy of slavery, and the relationship between taxation and wealth inequality. In his FC talk, he is going to call into question what is almost a commonplace of current political discourse, namely, that wealth inequality in American is at an all time high and rising. According to Professor Magness, the evidence on wealth inequality is more ambiguous than most commentators realize.

ABSTRACT: Is inequality rising at unprecedented rates? Are the rich really paying fewer taxes than the rest? These claims are staples of our present political discourse, but the evidence behind them is more ambiguous than most commentators realize. In this talk I will examine how inequality is measured, what we can interpret from those measurements, and what they portend for economic prosperity and fairness.

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community. RSVP to Lucy Schwarz at (link sends e-mail).