Paul Krugmans piece, however, hits on the most important point. The income disparity we see today is not a reflection of workers economic worth. It is not that the top 1% or 0.1% of Americans are significantly more valuable to society, it is that they found themselves in a position to exploit the system for tremendous personal gain. This disparity in “power relations” represents a market failure. Market failures can often be attributed to government policy. In light of these articles – particularly Krugmans statement that “it may take some time before we muster the political will” – it is interesting to consider the ramifications of this income disparity on the last federal election.
If the growing income disparity was inevitably going to result in social unrest, perhaps we have seen the first signs. I wonder if, in light of recent economic and political events, the authors can now take this particular line of discourse to the next stage, where potential solutions and their implementation is.