Long Division

THE PERILS OF INCOME INEQUALITY

American thinkers have long perceived a connection between robust democracy and a relatively egalitarian distribution of wealth. For all their differences, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson agreed that property begets power, and both expressed anxiety about excesses of the former unbalancing the latter. In 1785, Jefferson wrote that the consequences of “enormous inequality” were so pernicious that “legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property.”...

The remainder of this article is only available to paid subscribers.

Print subscribers to Commonweal are entitled to free access to all premium online content. Click here to purchase a print subscription, or if you’re already a print subscriber, register now for premium access.

Online-only subscriptions provide access to all premium online articles for just $34/year or $2.95/month. Click here to subscribe.

Registered users, please log in below:

Or log in with...

Share

About the Author

Eduardo Moisés Peñalver is the Allan R. Tessler Dean of the Cornell Law School. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the subjects of property and land use law.