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 Census Bureau and Obamacare: Dumb decision? Yes. Conspiracy? No.
image A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
image Give the CBO long-range tools
image The coming collapse of India's communists
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 14
    MON
  • 15
    TUE
  • 16
    WED
  • 17
    THU
  • 18
    FRI
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Calling treason by its name: A conversation with Liam Fox

Join us at AEI as the Right Honorable Liam Fox sits down with Marc Thiessen to discuss and debate whether America’s intelligence agencies have infringed on the personal privacy of US citizens.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The curmudgeon's guide to getting ahead

How can young people succeed in workplaces dominated by curmudgeons who are judging their every move? At this AEI book event, bestselling author and social scientist Charles Murray will offer indispensable advice for navigating the workplace, getting ahead, and living a fulfilling life.

Event Registration is Closed
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.
No events scheduled this day.