The fact that income in the United States is so unequally distributed has never really bothered me. It’s true that as measured by how much of the national income is taken by top earners we are more like a despotic Third World country than a developed one. But, who would care about how high Bill Gates and his pals were flying in the income stratosphere if the rest of us could see some sun now and then too?
Unfortunately, income for those of us on the tarmac has gone nowhere over the past two decades while income for those at the top keeps climbing. Today, the middle class is shrinking, and prospects (and everyday life) for what used to be called “the working class” are bleak.
Solutions are elusive to the problem of stagnant or shrinking income for most Americans and “there’s no reason the free market will solve this,” according to Nicholas Bloom, a right-leaning Professor of Economics at Stanford, as quoted in a recent New York Times story.