One thing I've seen many on here whether life style is increasing or poor's wealth is, income inequality in terms of things like food, water, healthcare keep going up, but wages aren't keeping up. This includes education sadly since if someone can't afford schooling, they can't escape poverty likely?

Have countries in the past ever faced these issues and solved them? Is it possible for places like America these days?

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    $\begingroup$ As it has been pointed out in several out questions your phrasing and concepts are vague, making meaningful answers very difficult. "life style is increasing "? "income inequality in terms of things like food"? (With respect to the general trend of your questions it is not clear what you expect to get. Comfort, confirmation, practical advice?) It is also unclear what you would accept as a 'solution' to these issues. There is a famous but controversial solution, you can read about it here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Revolution $\endgroup$ – Giskard Feb 14 '16 at 16:16

America has faced staggering income inequality during the Great Depression. enter image description here


In 1933 unemployment was 25%. President FDR's "New Deal" policies of fiscal stimulus, massive government spending on infrastructure, increased financial regulation and the creation of a social safety net (welfare, unemployment, pension) helped millions of people out of poverty and minimized the wealth gap.

Whether such a "New Deal" is politically feasible in today's America is debatable. We have to wait until November 3 to see who wins the election.

  • $\begingroup$ "minimized" seems like an overstatement. The gap still existed and according to the graph above it may have been smaller in the seventies. Decreased might be a better fit. $\endgroup$ – Giskard Feb 15 '16 at 11:08

Inequality is a vague and meaningless concept. Although it's possible to measure reported income and construct gini indices and so forth, these are mathematical abstractions orthogonal to reality.

Thus, it's impossible to answer your question. I'm sure that there have been times in the past were some measure of wages increased slower than inflation and this was resolved through various means. However, ultimately its impossible to say what constitutes inequality and good solutions to address it.

Edit: In case you're curious here is the top 1% income share in the great depression. As you can see income inequality went up after the new deal. It also began increasing after welfare in 1965.


enter image description here


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