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The Paradoxes of Income Inequality

Two important new papers by a team of leading scholars have upended some of the standard assumptions about American equality and economic mobility. Conventional wisdom holds that greater equality means higher economic mobility and, therefore, that rising inequality will impair mobility. That has not held true in America, at least not since the 1980s. Despite large increases in inequality, economic mobility has been quite stable. Poorer kids have been about as mobile as richer kids,...

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About the Author

Charles R. Morris, a Commonweal columnist, is the author of The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown (Public Affairs), among other books, and is a fellow at the Century Foundation.