A radical idea for reducing inequality deserves more attention

RECENT decades have not been particularly good ones for those who toil on, rather than own, the means of production. Labour markets have made a slow and incomplete recovery from the trauma of the Great Recession. The crisis only briefly dislodged corporate profits as a share of GDP from historically high levels. Across much of the world, the share of national income flowing to labour has fallen over the past 40 years.

Taxing the rich in order to fund spending on the poor is a straightforward solution to inequality. But the well-heeled are adept at squeezing through tax loopholes, and at marshalling the political clout needed to chip away at high tax rates. Those frustrated by enduring levels of inequality are contemplating ever bolder ways to redress the lopsided balance between owners and workers.

In an ideal world, untrammelled markets would ensure that every firm and every worker earned precisely what they deserved. But as economists since Adam Smith have recognised, markets...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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