As dictator of the universe, I would force everyone to read the second part of Will Wilkinson’s essay; the part on why mechanisms generating income inequality, not inequality itself, are what matter. This is mostly because I’m writing a paper on one such mechanism and, hey, publicity!, but also everyone should read it because, well, what Wilkinson says is true.
You like truth, don’t you?
Income inequality is one of those topics that makes smart people dumb. When asked why income inequality matters to him, a once proficient and smart (he’s still smart, no doubt) internet commentator wrote on this blog “I don’t really care why, I just do.” A short-circuit of thought: income inequality is bad, QED.
Inequality matters is incorporated into the very structure of the mind ((This line and the post title are taken from this essay. While the choice might be politic, Wilkinson dwells on correctable mechanisms generating inequality like unequal education, taxes or even norms regarding renumeration of CEOs. We should be prepared to confront innate inequalities, too. )).
Alas, I’m not yet the dictator of the universe. Go read that section (or heck the whole thing) anyway. Its not a nitpick of the empirics. Its not apologetics for the status quo. Its not a tired retread of right-wing talking points. At the very least, read it as the most advanced arguments your ideological opponents can throw at you so you might prepare your own counterarguments.