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Barry Ritholtz

Jamie Dimon Reduces Income Inequality

Does better technology mean we're all better off? Don't count on it.
Do iPhones make up for stagnant wages?

Do iPhones make up for stagnant wages?

Photographer: Laura McDermott/Bloomberg
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(After this column was published, it was brought to our attention that news reports on the speech in question were incomplete. The speech discussed a range of measures to reduce income inequality including skills training, strengthening inner-city schools, structuring a just immigration policy, and growing economic markets. This information should have been referenced and we regret the omission.)  

Whenever I am going through a rough patch in my life, it’s nice when a friend offers kind words of encouragement, some motivational thoughts -- Hey! You can get through this! -- and everything eventually gets better. 

Perhaps that’s what JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon was thinking when he in effect told the poor -- Buck up! Things are much better than you realize. Dimon, a billionaire, was speaking at an event in Detroit last week when he noted the positive effects technology was having on inequality, even with wages stagnant for so many workers for so long. “It’s not right to say we’re worse off,” he said. “If you go back 20 years ago, cars were worse, health was worse, you didn’t live as long, the air was worse. People didn’t have iPhones.”