INEQUALITY: WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

There are many reasons to reduce inequality: If we reduce inequality of economic outcomes, then this contributes to securing the equality of opportunity that is a key feature of a modern democratic society.
Social evils, such as crime and ill-health, are attributed to the highly unequal nature of societies today. These provide an instrumental reason for seeking to achieve lower levels of poverty and inequality, as does the fear that extremes of inequality are incompatible with a functioning democracy.
There are those like me who believe that the present levels of economic inequality are intrinsically inconsistent with the conception of a good society.
How can a significant reduction in inequality be achieved? The aim is to outline ways forward, not the final destination. I have sought to describe an ultimately desirable state of our society; this is not an exercise in utopianism. Rather, it indicates directions of movements for those who are concerned with reducing inequality. And it starts with the current state of society. Woodrow Wilson in his first inaugural address said that “we shall deal with our economic system as it is and as it may be modified, not as it might be if we had a clean sheet of paper to write on.”
The steps to be taken depend on the reasons are so unequal and why inequality has risen in recent decades. Just why has there been an “Inequality Turn” in the years since 1980? In seeking to apply the tools of economics to answer this question, I have stressed the need to place distributional issues

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