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Athwart

The New Inequality

by James Lileks

For about 47 minutes the president successfully moved the conversation to income inequality, the very existence of which proves that the fundamental transformation of America into a grey smear of equally compensated workers has a long way to go. The news cycle, whose attention span makes a housefly look like a Galapagos turtle, was Very Concerned for a while, but then a sign-language guy at Mandela’s funeral was revealed to have been miming the instructions for complex nautical knots, and that was that.

In a few months the president may indeed be informed that incomes are still unequal, and make no mistake — and for the love of all that is good and decent, let him be clear — no one will be angrier than he is. He made a speech, for heaven’s sake.

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