By Robert Reich
WITH POLLS SHOWING that a majority of Americans now believe inequality has grown over the past decade, and favor tax increases on the wealthy to expand help to those in need, conservatives want to change the subject.
Those with presidential ambitions say we should focus on poverty rather than on inequality.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida points to the “lack of mobility” of the poor as the core problem. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin blames their isolation from mainstream America: “On every measure from education levels to marriage rates, poor families are drifting further away from the middle class.”
Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks argues that the “interrelated social problems of the poor” have nothing to do with inequality.