Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Two types of inequality

David Brooks has written a thought-provoking piece on income inequality, in which he points out that the gap between the top 1% and the rest is widening for different reasons than the gap between the 75th and 25th percentiles.

Here is his conclusion:

But the fact is that Red Inequality is much more important. The zooming wealth of the top 1 percent is a problem, but it’s not nearly as big a problem as the tens of millions of Americans who have dropped out of high school or college. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the 40 percent of children who are born out of wedlock. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the nation’s stagnant human capital, its stagnant social mobility and the disorganized social fabric for the bottom 50 percent.
If your ultimate goal is to reduce inequality, then you should be furious at the doctors, bankers and C.E.O.’s. If your goal is to expand opportunity, then you have a much bigger and different agenda.

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