Growing concerns about inequalities

The ranks of people cautioning about the detrimental effects of income and wealth inequality has increased again. This time the call for higher taxes on the rich comes from an unexpected source (at least I thought it was rather surprising…): William Bernstein, a top financial advise columnist. According to Too Much:

Bernstein these days is offering up a new set of insights — on inequality. Our current rates of economic inequality, Bernstein observes in a new interview, are “killing us.” The United States, he notes, has “the highest rates of obesity, homicide, violent crime, and incarceration in the developed world, things that all covary strongly with inequality.” Bernstein sees little economic downside to raising tax rates on America’s wealthy far higher than the current 35 percent top marginal rate. Indeed, he adds, “before the Reagan era, the period of highest U.S. economic growth, we had top marginal rates in excess of 90 percent.”

But don’t expect Congress to do anything about that. Congress is increasingly filled with the super-rich:

A new Center for Responsive Politics study, released last week, is reporting that 60 percent of this year’s freshmen U.S. senators hold at least $1 million in net worth. The millionaire share among House freshmen: 40 percent. The share of Americans overall worth at least $1 million: about 1 percent. The vast majority of freshman lawmakers, says Center for Responsive Politics director Sheila Krumholz, live “a world away” from the “financial realities” their constituents face…

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