Monday, August 30, 2021

China gives the poor a bigger slice of the proverbial pie, but if it affects incentives... will also make the pie smaller.  

The Economist reports on the efforts of the Chinese government to redistribute income from rich to the poor.  Chairman Xi has pronounced, “We must not allow the gap between rich and poor to get wider.” He seems to be channeling Confucious whose writings he frequently quotes, "a wise leader worries not about poverty but about inequality." 

 If this sounds familiar, it may be because the top 1% in China own 30.6% of household wealth; close to the US figure of 31.4%. The trick will be to redistribute income without muting the incentives that have made China so successful. 

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