(Topics: The Economy | Back to Home)
Some people have more money than other people. That's wealth inequality.
Some people make more money than other people. That's income inequality.
By themselves, those statements are not a problem. So what? Some people are taller or shorter than others. Some people have more lyrics memorized than others. That's not all that important.
What we really care about when it comes to income and wealth inequality is what is happening at the edges. That is, extremely low-income / low-wealth people. Extremely poverty is especially compelling if you're aware of high-income/high-wealthy people.
Our policy goal should be to come to an agreement about what it means to be American. What level of dignity are you afforded by being a citizen of our country? If you are able and willing to work, what does it mean to have a modest, but comfortable life? And if you are not able to work—what does that mean? How should we take care of those in our society who do not have the capacity to draw an income through their labor?
These questions are harder to answer than saying “wealth inequality is bad.” But they are the essential questions for us to face.
Because nobody should have to be poor. And in order to take the next step from that statement, we must to agree on what it means to have to be poor.
This is the essential question. To me, nobody should have to be poor. If you're able and willing to work—(or you're unable to work)—you should be able to live a modest, but comfortable life. The next step is getting into the details.