Inequality: So Hot Right Now

Jon Chait has a fantastic article in the new New Republic about how the Bush years’ combination of strong growth and meager, meager wage growth has prompted increasing numbers of center-left economists to develop a renewed interest in inequality and what you might call “political economy” ideas (in contrast to “economics” per se) and thereby move much closer to traditionalist labor-liberal views. In retrospect, I really should have mentioned this in my attack from the left on Jacob Hacker. There’s something especially perverse about liberals rushing to embrace the risk-centric worldview at the expense of our old inequality-centric one at just the moment when old-school liberal ideas are finally gaining some mainstream respectability.