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Income Inequality in America

In the Spring issue of National Affairs, I’ve co-authored (with Robert Beschel) an essay, “How to Think About Inequality.”

The essay argues that while income inequality has never before been central to American politics, this year the divide between rich and poor promises to be a focal point. From there, the essay looks at the state of income inequality in America; its roots; and the role public policy has played in the gap between the top and bottom income earners in America. The essay concludes with reflections on income inequality and justice and sketches out the broad contours of what an “opportunity society” might look like.

Here’s how we put it:

Whether conservatives like it or not, income inequality is now a pressing issue in American politics — one that must be confronted, and soon. Part of that effort will require combating prevalent misperceptions about inequality with facts — about the true extent of income gaps in America, and about the overall levels of prosperity enjoyed by our citizens. This effort will also require highlighting the injustice of the left’s suggested remedies for income inequality, and the degree to which those proposals represent a radical departure from America’s ideals and traditions. Most important, conservatives will need to offer solutions to the genuine problems obscured by the fuss over inequality — namely, the decline of social mobility and the real plight of the nation’s poor.

For those interested in reading more, the essay can be found here.



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