The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
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The Inequality That Matters

Most claims about inequality are groundless. One, however, is not.

Published on January 1, 2011
Does growing wealth and income inequality in the United States presage the downfall of the American republic? Will we evolve into a new Gilded Age plutocracy, irrevocably split between the competing interests of rich and poor? Or is growing inequality a mere bump in the road, a statistical blip along the path to greater wealth for virtually every American? Or is income inequality partially desirable, reflecting the greater productivity of society’s stars? There is plenty of speculation on these possibilities, but a lot of it has been aimed at elevating one political agenda over another rather than elevating our understanding....