The Unequal States of America

Inequality is alive, well, and growing in the U.S. As President Obama indicated in a speech last week, it's a problem the country must address. First, says Eduardo Porter, will need to articulate the problem to build the consensus needed to solve it.
August 3, 2013, 11am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"The good news is that President Obama appears to have decided to devote the rest of his presidency to trying to tackle the forces behind the yawning inequities that have hamstrung social and economic mobility, eroding the living standards of the middle class," writes Porter. "The bad news is that he may not be up to the task."

The problem with the proposals that Obama has so far outlined, he says, is that they're either inadequate or unfeasible in today's political climate. 

"A better strategy might be to articulate — forcefully — the nature of the problem and build a political consensus that would ultimately lead to long-delayed changes to American society," he argues. 

"The United States remains among the richest countries in the world. National income per person trails only that of Norway, Luxembourg, Singapore, Switzerland and Hong Kong. Yet despite its riches, in many areas the United States looks surprisingly, depressingly backward."


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Published on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 in The New York Times
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