I just read a very interesting article on inequality that is an interview with Daron Acemoglu, an MIT Professor of Economics. The interview highlights different aspects of the inequality issue, and shares Acemoglu’s choice of favorite books on the topic. I think the general gist of the interview comes down to the following paragraph:
“I am totally comfortable, from a personal point of view, with economic inequality emerging if that really reflects the different social contributions that individuals make. It’s a price that we pay for providing incentives for people to contribute to prosperity. But there is one caveat to that. If, in the end, income becomes very unequal, even if it’s for good reasons, it might create dynamic problems, because those who have become very rich now control so much of the resources of society that they might start using those resources for creating an unequal distribution of political power.”
I think one thing that missing from all of the discussion of inequality, both in the broader media & politician’s speeches, is WHY excessive income inequality is actually a bad thing. You can’t just say it’s bad because it’s unfair. It turns out, that some folks actually DO spend a lot of time on this. Here is a great TED talk by Richard Wilkinson:
As always, TED provides some interesting food for thought. Enjoy!