Inequality Is Not the Problem


Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear. Albert Camus Metropolitan Museum of Art Adriaen Isenbrant: Man Weighing Gold (detail), circa 1515–1520

Jeff Madrick

In his celebrated book Capital in the 21st Century, Thomas Piketty notes that Napoleon justified concentrations of wealth and high levels of inequality in France because, he claimed, the nation was a meritocracy. If you worked hard and had talent, you could rise—even back then.Such inflated claims about income mobility have long been the refuge of the privileged at the top of the distribution of wealth. The American dream is of course built on this central […]