Miss­ing the pic­ture on how to mea­sure in­equal­ity

Re: “Hav­ing a richer dis­cus­sion about in­equal­ity,” July 9 Steven Pearl­stein col­umn.

The Denver Post - - PERSPECTIVE -

Steven Pearl­stein, per­haps like the au­thors of the books he adroitly re­views, misses a crit­i­cal met­ric of well-be­ing: per­sonal-in­come growth com­pared to cost-of-liv­ing growth. Key as­pects of a qual­ity life — health care, higher ed­u­ca­tion and hous­ing — have been much more rapidly in­flat­ing than in­comes for most Amer­i­cans (those be­low the top 20 per­cent).

To pre­serve qual­ity of life, we must hold down costs of such es­sen­tials — es­sen­tial es­pe­cially for the house­holds be­low 50 per­cent of me­dian in­come to “im­prove their lot” through hard work — or in­crease their in­come growth, or both. But to fo­cus only on in­come growth or in­come lev­els is to miss half the pic­ture. Christo­pher Ju­niper, In­dian Hills

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