Episode 14: The New Game-Changing Inequality Database

The co-hosts discuss the new prototype account for the distribution of “personal income”—what share of income is obtained by the top 1%, the bottom 10%, and so on—unveiled earlier this month by the U.S. government agency that reports Gross Domestic Product statistics. Andrew thinks that this new “distributional national account” is likely to soon change the ways in which we discuss and think about income inequality; Brendan finds out why. They also discuss how the government’s conclusions, and its approach to measuring income inequality, differ from those of the “distributional national account” that Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman published a few years ago. How will Piketty and associates respond to the government’s new inequality database? And how will it affect redistributionist politics more generally?

In the episode’s current-events segment, the co-hosts discuss Donald Trump’s dangerous peddling of a miracle cure for COVID-19 (the coronavirus) and whether the behavior of this “very stable genius” should be normalized as a valid alternative to what “deep state” experts say—a “hope layperson’s standpoint” rather than a “medical, scientific standpoint.”

Radio Free Humanity is a podcast covering news, politics and philosophy from a Marxist-Humanist perspective. It is co-hosted by Brendan Cooney and Andrew Kliman. We intend to release new episodes every two weeks. Radio Free Humanity is sponsored by MHI, but the views expressed by the co-hosts and guests of Radio Free Humanity are their own. They do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of MHI.

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March 28, 2020

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