Several economic historians have argued that real wage decline occurred in the early 19th century, or possibly beginning in the very late 18th century, largely as a result of British imperialism. Economic historian Prasannan Parthasarathi presented earnings data which showed real wages and living standards in 18th century Bengal and Mysore being higher than in Britain, which in turn had the highest living standards in Europe.[101][78] Mysore's average per-capita income was five times higher than subsistence level,[115] i.e. five times higher than $400 (1990 international dollars),[116] or $2,000 per capita. In comparison, the highest national per-capita incomes in 1820 were $1,838 for the Netherlands and $1,706 for Britain.[117] It has also been argued that India went through a period of deindustrialization in the latter half of the 18th century as an indirect outcome of the collapse of the Mughal Empire.[78]

Several economic historians have argued that real wage decline occurred in the early 19th century, or possibly beginning in the very late 18th century, largely as a result of British imperialism. Economic historian Prasannan Parthasarathi presented earnings data which showed real wages and living standards in 18th century Bengal and Mysore being higher than in Britain, which in turn had the highest living standards in Europe.[101][78] Mysore's average per-capita income was five times higher than subsistence level,[115] i.e. five times higher than $400 (1990 international dollars),[116] or $2,000 per capita. In comparison, the highest national per-capita incomes in 1820 were $1,838 for the Netherlands and $1,706 for Britain.[117] It has also been argued that India went through a period of deindustrialization in the latter half of the 18th century as an indirect outcome of the collapse of the Mughal Empire.[78]


One thing I notice about the debates on both tax policy and income inequality is that a lot of people seem to have relatively hazy ideas about how income is earned in America, and how much of each kind of income there is. For example, if someone is earning $300,000 a year, where is their income likely to be coming from? How much revenue is drawn from capital gains taxes? And how is income distributed between corporate shareholders and workers? People don't tend to have very strong priors about the answers to these questions, because they simply haven't yet learned what the relative sizes of different sources of income actually are.

An obvious example is over exposure to bank stocks, which have been excellent investments for over a century.  Though a foundation of most portfolios, bank stocks do involve more risk at certain stages of the economic cycle than many realise.  Being less exposed to bank shares in the last few months could have preserved some capital.  So, a more diversified approach can help mitigate some of these risks.
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