Surprise! Wealth Inequality Still Bad in the U.S.

Thomas Piketty and his colleagues Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman have come up with more evidence about inequality in the United States, which is summarized in a New York Times article by Jeremy Ashkenas. The bottom line is that the labor income of the bottom 50% of Americans has weakened drastically in the last 40 years. They argue that redistributive policies are limited in what they can do to reduce this inequality, and instead argue for policies such as improved education and job training to increase the primary work income. However, as suggested by our simulations  such an approach is unlikely to have a major effect, and there is little evidence that it has worked in the past. We must wake up to the fact that the present economic system naturally pushes toward massive wealth inequality, and only massive attempts to redistribute wealth will ever have a lasting effect.