TwitLonger

Let's suppose you actually believe that America's biggest problem is *inequality*. You're not saying "inequality" when you mean "poverty" or "unemployment" or "median wage stagnation" or "conspicuous consumption" or "political corruption." You really think the gap between the rich and poor, separate from the actual positions of the rich and poor on their own, is the problem.

Imagine that in 2033, America looks like this…
* Absolute poverty, hunger, and homelessness are either at 0 percent or damn close to it.
* Unemployment is below 4 percent, as it was in the late Clinton years.
* Real GDP is growing at about 4 percent a year.
* Median wages are growing at about 4 percent a year too.
* Total factor productivity is growing at about 2 percent a year, as it did in the years after WWII.
* Inflation is either negligible — around 2 percent, say — or has been eliminated through e-money.
* Health spending (incl. Medicare/Medicaid/etc.) is growing at the inflation rate.
* We have a carbon tax set to the actual social cost of carbon, as do all other countries.
* The gender and racial pay gaps have been closed.
* The racial achievement gap in schools has been closed.
* Free pre-K is a part of all public school districts, as is a bachelor's from a community college.
* The median American worker has a BA, and high school dropouts are negligibly small.
* We have public financing of federal elections, and donor influence is at a nadir.
* Social Security is 100% solvent.
* And, for kicks, let's say we don't have any public debt and are running a balanced budget.

However…
* There are many more Americans worth in the billions, tens of billions, and even hundreds of billions.
* The Gini index has grown substantially from its 2013 level because of the previous development.

If you really believe inequality is our most serious problem, you have to look at an America that looks like this and say that it hasn't solved its most serious economic problem yet. Sure, all the progress made in the preceding 20 years is good, but it didn't touch the really big problem.

If that sounds preposterous, then maybe it's because you don't actually think inequality is our biggest problem. You think something like poverty or joblessness or median wage stagnation is. And you're right.

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