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inequality

The most ironic thing about rising inequality is how completely unnecessary and self-defeating it is. If we do something about it, if we adjust our policies in the way that, say, Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression—so that we help the 99 percent and preempt the revolutionaries and crazies, the ones with the pitchforks—that will be the best thing possible for us rich folks, too. It’s not just that we’ll escape with our lives; it’s that we’ll most certainly get even richer. Nick Hanauer

If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when. The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats

…poor people have the same views toward marriage as everyone else. They don’t marry because they accurately perceive that marriage is a risk—it is a commitment to care for someone who may be more of a threat than an asset in raising children. The popular stereotype is that the men have abandoned their children, but in fact the women are more often the ones who end the relationships and the men typically try to stay involved with the children after the breakup. How Inequality Shapes the American Family

…most American workers earn less today than they did forty years ago, adjusted for inflation, not because they’re working less hard now but because they don’t have strong unions bargaining for them. Robert Reich: The 4 Biggest Right-Wing Lies About Inequality

Even for the non-poor, inequality matters. Many goods are positional, such as the best schools, housing, and jobs. But in a society where wealth is power, and economic inequality is skyrocketing, those are perks that increasingly are restricted to a rich and well-connected elite. That’s a disturbing reality that violates basic norms of fairness and equal opportunity. It’s one of the reasons why addressing economic inequality has become our nation’s most urgent political priority. And it’s another point that all of Piketty’s right-wing detractors (whether they’ve actually read his book, or not) seem to have missed. What Piketty’s Conservative Critics Get Wrong

As William Greider observed, the problem is not that capital is privately owned, the problem is that most people don’t own any. We already have many forms of ownership that can change this. Ownership can be distributed much more equitably by actively promoting less common forms such as ownership by employees and other stakeholders. Ownership can also be conditional, with time limits and progressive transfers of ownership, or owning buildings but not land, and so on, as discussed earlier. More Effective Remedies for Inequality

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