Reassessing the Facts about Inequality, Poverty, and Redistribution

Modern American political discourse frequently includes calls to do something about income inequality and poverty. Underlying those calls is the assumption that income inequality in the United States is greater than that in other Western democracies and is growing, and that poverty persists at high levels. In a new paper, John F. Early argues that the statistics invoked to support those claims are misleading, and shows that poverty in the U.S. has declined sharply while income inequality has risen only modestly, in line with trends in other nations.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit: Costly, Complex, and Corruption-Prone

The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress are considering major tax reforms aimed at reducing tax rates and ending unjustified tax breaks. According to a new bulletin from Cato scholars Chris Edwards and Vanessa Brown Calder, they should consider repealing the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. “It complicates the tax code,” say Edwards and Calder, “and is a poorly targeted solution to housing affordability problems.”

Good Intentions and Bad News: Minimum-Wage Edition

Many applauded Seattle when it raised its minimum wage from $9.47 to $15 an hour. Good intentions, however, do not always result in good outcomes. Vanessa Brown Calder reports on new research that suggests the minimum wage increase harmed poor workers, resulting a loss in work hours and jobs. Calder recommends that Seattle hits the pause button on increases, and reevaluate in the face of new evidence.

Cato Studies

Of Special Note

The Inclusive Economy: How to Bring Wealth to America’s Poor

The Inclusive Economy

The Inclusive Economy: How to Bring Wealth to America’s Poor, a new book from the Cato Institute, is the culmination of years of research by Michael D. Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. The book examines the reasons for poverty in America and then offers an innovative, detailed new anti-poverty agenda that includes criminal justice reform, educational freedom, housing deregulation, banking reform, and more inclusive growth-all focused on empowering people, enabling them to take greater control of their lives.

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Cato Pocket Constitution

To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in America’s founding documents, the Cato Institute published this pocket-size edition.

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Home Study Resources

The Cato Institute offers a wealth of online educational audio and video resources, from self-paced guides on the ideas of liberty and the principles of economics, to exclusive, archived lectures by thinkers such as Milton Friedman and F. A. Hayek. Browse through some highlights of our collections, for personal study or for use in the classroom.

The Jones Act: Charting a New Course after a Century of Failure

For nearly 100 years the Jones Act has restricted the transportation of cargo between two points in the U.S. to ships that are U.S.-built, crewed, owned, and flagged. Meant to bolster the U.S. maritime industry, the Act has instead led to a steady deterioration in the number of ships, sailors, shipyards, and has imposed large economic burdens. This full-day conference examines the Act in greater detail and evaluates options for reform.