In Part I we looked at how inequality decreased during the post WW II period and then resumed its rise – one that is more severe in NJ than nationally. We also looked at the billionaires in NJ many of whose income provides little social benefit, and at a specific New Jerseyan whose corporate “super salary” was disproportionate in comparison with that of other employees.
Reducing inequality is not as simple as increasing taxes on the rich and super rich. We need to strengthen the middle class which in America has just dropped from its long held number one position world-wide. We need to provide more resources for the working poor and those less fortunate. Reducing inequality does not mean reducing the number of wealthy people but increasing the income of those who are not wealthy.
Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the 21st Century, as the Guardian explains, says, “The wealthy are getting wealthier while everybody else is struggling. Inequality will widen to the point where it becomes unsustainable – both politically and economically – unless action is taken to redistribute income and wealth.” Piketty, called a rock star economist, suggests solutions which could be implemented in New Jersey. We are exploring them in this series of articles.
In Part II we will look at what Americans say about the inequality gap, some of the causes, the very political nature of the subject, and some steps we can take in New Jersey to increase the income of those who are not wealthy.