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Inequality bandwagon

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This is not a subject to be taken lightly. It is not a fad or topic that will blip on the screen and then disappear. The “inequality bandwagon” refers to all of the newswriters who are taking off on the President’s introducing the topic yesterday.

Now, it is getting traction because it is likely that this will be a theme in the Election 2014 campaigns. It will the counter topic to trivial disputes about Obamacare and a failed website. It will be the alternative to discussing details about Affordable Care Act implementation and requirements for amending the law.

Republicans are not keen on going down the ACA amendment road because they did not want to address the problem of uninsured Americans to begin with. That problem was intended to go into the unaddressable bucket, meaning that we don’t have the resources to assume more social responsibility.

We don’t have the resources because we permitted wealthy Americans to escape with all of our needed revenue. Now, the wealthiest Americans are beginning to abandoned ship altogether. Shame on them.

The New Yorker is undertaking the topic now. They aptly remind us that that even the Pope is on board in bashing evil capitalists and trickle downers.


It’s been a good week, rhetorically, for those who care about reducing inequality. Last Tuesday, in his first papal exhortation, Pope Francis bewailed the unequal distribution of global wealth, using language that sounded, at times, quite Marxist: “But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples are reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence.” On Wednesday, President Obama cited the Pope’s argument in a speech that laid out his economic priorities for the rest of his second term, adding, “But this increasing inequality is most pronounced in our country. And it challenges the very essence of who we are as a people.”

Rhetoric is one thing; action is another. One difference between the Pope and the President is that the latter has a hand in setting economic policies that could help to solve the problem. Notably, Obama didn’t say much in his speech about his policy plans, other than reiterating his call for a higher federal minimum wage. What else can the government do? A memo issued on Wednesday by the Hamilton Project, part of the Brookings Institution think tank, suggests some answers to this question.



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