Realism about Inequality

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Danny Vinik presents five ideas for reducing inequality that are more politically realistic than Thomas Piketty’s global wealth tax. It’s a pretty good list. I agree with most of the items on the list (if not always with the ways he elaborates them), and am open to the others. What’s attractive about them, to my mind, is that they aren’t especially aimed at combating inequality in the first place. Increasing opportunity, for example, is a more straightforward reason for deregulating housing markets, as Vinik suggests. And I doubt all of these proposals put together actually would make a big dent in inequality, which may be why Piketty puts more emphasis on a wealth tax.

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