The Great American Income Inequality Debate

The economic hardship of the Great Recession, and our inability to emerge from it, have brought to a boil the long-simmering controversy over the inevitable inequality of incomes and wealth created by a free market economy. It brings to the forefront all sorts of fundamental and emotionally charged questions: What do we mean by income inequality, and what are its implications? Does our society seek to ensure “equality of opportunity” or “equality of outcome”? Does government intervention in the “free market” improve outcomes for anyone and, if so, whom? While we don’t claim to have all the answers, we’ll do our best to frame the argument and explain how that argument will play itself out.

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