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Income Inequality and Immigrants


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June 05, 2005

Income Inequality and Immigrants

Michael Mandel

Steve Antler at Econopundit responds to today's article in the NYT about the widening gap between the very rich and the rest of us.

This US "gap between richest and poorest" has to be the most rigged datum in the history of economic thought. The highest percentiles have no income ceiling. The lowest are perpetually augmented by immigrants whose massive upward income mobility remains untabulated because immigrants' starting incomes were earned outside the US.

If Antler is right, then immigrants should make up a disproportionate and growing share of the poor. In fact, that's what the numbers show.

Share of families headed by non-natives

poor families all families

1995 19.7% 10.9%

2003 23.5% 14.5%

share of married couple families headed by non-natives

poor families all families

1995 29.8% 10.7%

2003 35.1% 14.3%

What this means, for example, is that 35% of poor married couples are headed by immigrants. That's spectacularly high.

Note: Antler also chides me here for inappropriate understanding of blog etiquette.

03:34 PM

Income Distribution

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Or, maybe a lot of these immigrants are just doing a better job of hiding their income, at least some of which may have been paid under the table.

-- Jack Krupansky

Posted by: Jack Krupansky at June 5, 2005 08:56 PM

Thank you for showing the truth of how poor the poor really are and how figures don't lie, but liars can figure. Patrick Huber

Posted by: Patrick Huber at June 7, 2005 10:38 AM


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