I wanted to hip readers to a fabulous new website created by the invaluable Economic Policy Institute. It’s called Inequality Is, and it looks at what I believe to be the most serious problem facing our country, and the world, today: economic inequality. (I think it’s our most important problem because, among other things, it’s a root cause of nearly every other political problem we have, or something that at the very least exacerbates those other problems). Inequality Is is sure to delight policy nerds and political types alike, and it contains tons of fascinating info. I promise you, you will learn something, even if you are well-versed on this topic.
The site is interactive and looks at several broad inequality-related topics. This one, Inequality Is Personal, allows you to plug in your own personal info to find out exactly how much inequality is costing you in dollar terms. Note to nonwhites and my sister lady-Americans: if you’re hellbent on ruining your day, this page would be a great place to start!
I also appreciate this page, Inequality is Fixable. It provides policy solutions (including full employment, labor standards, financial regulation, and more), as well as information on how to take political action to help implement those solutions.
I think my favorite part of the website, however, is Inequality Is Created, which consists of the excellent Robert Reich-narrated video below. Few things irritate me more than the neoliberal canard that inequality is something that the inequality fairy just foisted upon us, that it’s inevitable because globalization, or technology, or some other factor we allegedly have no control over. No, the massive level of inequality we suffer from in our society and our world is a deliberate choice. It was the predictable and inevitable effect of policies that were vigorously pursued by economic elites and their handmaidens in academia, think tanks, and the media.
The good news is that though inequality is a huge problem, fortunately it is a solvable problem. We have the tools to fix it — we just have to persuade our political representatives to use them. As the saying goes, the answers to our inequality problem are simple, albeit not easy.
Here’s the video. Pass it along — this one deserves to go viral. Among other things, it features a top-hatted one percenter who’s like something out of a 1930s New Masses cartoon.