I think it could be argued that at least one element that is contributing to the divisiveness in Washington are various answers to questions of inequality. This word – “inequality” – has been ubiquitous in our public discourse lately, its usage likely catalyzed by movements such as “Occupy Wall Street.” Discussions of inequality have profound implications for issues such as spending and taxing, which are of course the core issues contributing to gridlock. But why this obsession with inequality?
This article in the WSJ by Holman Jenkins asks whether policy proposals to reduce inequality are driven by motives to increase the quality of living for the majority, or rather to simply penalize people for being rich. He even argues that the growing inequality gap may be a distortion of statistics.
In short, he thinks reducing inequality is the political cause de jour but he questions the wisdom of the policy solutions offered, as well as the problem itself.
Excerpt: “Income inequality could be a sign of real pathology in authoritarian societies where entrenched groups use government-granted privileges to protect themselves from competition. By and large, that's not the case in the U.S., where most see the market actually increasing the competitive advantages of the educated, skilled, hardworking and talented.”