Part IV of this series of articles provides recommendations on what we can do to reduce income inequality in our state. The goal is to create a more even playing field so that others can share the wealth of our state.
A Guardian article summarizes what economist Thomas Piketty has made apparent in his extraordinary work Capitalism in the 21st Century. “The American dream does not, and maybe cannot, deliver on its promises because economic growth will always be smaller than the profits from any money that is invested. Economic growth is what we all benefit from, but profits from invested money accrue to the rich.” The consequences of this are clear: those who have family fortunes or get super-sized compensation packages will foster inequality while the other 90% struggle to accumulate much smaller wealth.
Paul Krugman comments on Piketty’s work:“Even if the underlying economic conditions point toward extreme inequality, what Piketty calls ‘a drift toward oligarchy’ can be halted and even reversed if the body politic so chooses. So progressive taxation can be a powerful force limiting inequality.”
Spoiler Alert: The steps proposed below the fold are incredibly difficult to enact. They will be fought “tooth and nail” by entrenched interests – the wealthy individuals who have the monies to lobby and donate against such proposals. The changes nonetheless should seem detrimental only to the wealthiest 1 to 10%, while benefiting the rest of us. Ultimately the question comes down to: Shouldn’t the 90% have a strong say in the matter? If we don’t insist on balancing the scale there is no hope for reducing inequality.