Cecil Bohanon and Nick Curott caught my eye with their article “Is Income Inequality Actually Income Envy?” [April 9]. They cite work of Phil Gramm and John Early that takes into account taxes and “government transfers” when analyzing income inequality. Gramm and Early claim that such an accounting confirms “household consumption inequality has not really changed much over the last 50 years.”
First, there is no standardized methodology for estimating wealth and income inequality. This makes it tempting for one to choose a methodology that resembles one’s politics.
Second, research published in the American Economic Association and the Journal of Economic Perspectives refer to various methodologies that come to the same conclusion: Income inequality is growing. I did not see anything about “income envy” in the sources and methods I researched.