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Apr 21 / Jonathan

Lane Kenworthy: Reducing Inequality

Lane Kenworthy, at his blog Consider the Evidence, has an illuminating series of posts on reducing (economic) inequality in the US.

Here’s a chronological list of posts:

3248A092-1D3C-42E7-A97F-E4C3AA7176F8.jpgReducing Inequality: What’s the Problem?

Reducing Inequality: Are Unions the Answer? Some, but not enough.

Reducing Inequality: Education to the Rescue? “Education is important for individuals and for society, and I certainly favor efforts to improve both its quality and its quantity. But it doesn’t seem to me likely to get us very far in reversing the rise in American income inequality.”

Reducing Inequality: Put the Brakes on Globalization? Nope.

Reducing Inequality: Boosting Incomes in the Bottom Half Boosting minimum wage and expanding the EITC would be a good start.

Reducing Inequality: Expand and Improve Public Services Yes. “But markets haven’t, and likely won’t, bring us affordability coupled with high quality in health care, education, child care, safety, and mass ground transportation. In these and other areas, government is needed.”

Reducing Inequality: What to Do about the Top 1% “The simplest and best strategy is to let markets largely determine high-end earnings and incomes and use the tax system to redistribute.… We should increase the top income tax rate and/or add one or more new rates for those with very high incomes.

Reducing Inequality: How to Pay for It Broad-based taxes, on both income and taxation.

How to pay for inequality reduction: follow-up “Let me emphasize that my aim isn’t to discourage increases in taxation of the richest. I favor doing that. Rather, it’s to encourage the American left to think beyond heightened tax progressivity when considering strategies for inequality reduction.”

My summaries don’t, obviously, do justice to the Kenworthy’s arguments.

The last quote, one more time: focus on the effect, not the mechanism.

Let me emphasize that my aim isn’t to discourage increases in taxation of the richest. I favor doing that. Rather, it’s to encourage the American left to think beyond heightened tax progressivity when considering strategies for inequality reduction.

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