Inequality and Opportunity

The Story

Mayor de Blasio came into office demanding an end to what he called a “tale of two cities,” by which he meant New York’s sharp levels of income inequality. Despite his efforts to alleviate the matter, however, the income gap between rich and poor remains unchanged. Perhaps the city should worry less about such disparities and more about how to give poorer New Yorkers the tools and opportunities that can help them enter the middle class.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Gini: The city’s Gini coefficient, a key measure of income inequality, is at the same level as it was when Mayor Bloomberg left office. Read more.

  2. Theil: New York’s Theil Index, which measures the impact of various industries on income inequality, has also remained relatively constant since de Blasio’s mayoralty began. Read more.

  3. Relative: Considered in isolation from other factors, income inequality does not tell us anything about the quality of life of low-income households, which is more affected by the caliber of city services such as policing, sanitation, and schools. Read more.

“We know that equality of individual ability has never existed and never will, but we do insist that equality of opportunity still must be sought.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Did Inequality Make Dasani Homeless? By Kay S. Hymowitz (Winter 2014)

“The New York Times takes the wrong lesson from a real problem.”

And in other news...

“Seven years after Gov. Cuomo took office, New York’s business climate remains one of the worst in the nation, according to a report released Tuesday.”