In anticipation of the State of the Union address is which it is believed that the topic of income inequality will be front and center, Mark Schmitt, writing at New Republic, suggests reframing the debate. I completely agree with and endorse the conclusion of his piece:
Inequality was constructed by the rules of the system and we can remake those rules.
and I agree that income inequality is important for reasons he mentions:
As Princeton economist Angus Deaton put it in the conclusion of his recent book, The Great Escape, “The political equality that is required by democracy is always under threat from economic inequality, and the more extreme the economic inequality, the greater the threat to democracy.”
I’m skeptical that we will accomplish greater income equality by subsidizing insurance companies, physicians, bankers, and political operatives. That has, however, been the policy of the last several years.
I think that the most significant single thing that could be done to promote greater income equality is more jobs. That isn’t an idea that seems to gain any traction.
I’ll throw some questions on the floor. Is income inequality a problem? If so, what should be done about it?
For those of you who on seeing the title of this post thought it was going to be taking a side on Katniss Everdeen vs. Harry Potter, I’m sorry to disappoint you.