Income Inequality, Growth Go Together
Whereas the article says:
When research finds a connection between economic growth rates and inequality levels, as often as not higher inequality tends to correspond to higher growth.
This is a dubious claim as well. But it’s not at all the same as the sweeping assertion made in the headline.
The text is the more sophisticated spin to persuade people who care about inequality to care about it a little less; the headline is the takeaway the public is supposed to remember next time they hear about a proposal for cutting taxes for the wealthy. Either way, the Koch brothers and other funders of the Manhattan Institute are getting their money’s worth.
UPDATE: Scott Winship notes on Twitter (10/9/13) that he doesn’t write USA Today‘s headlines. Of course he does not. But when you write a line like “as often as not higher inequality tends to correspond to higher growth,” you are acknowledging that there is not a tendency for inequality to correspond to higher growth–otherwise the connection would appear more often than “as often as not”–while at the same time hoping that people will misread you as saying that there is such a tendency. In other words, you’re trying to get people to misunderstand you in exactly the way the headline writer did.