Republicans should take on inequality, since no one else will

Why Republicans Should Take on Inequality
February 27, 2013
by John Light

In an op-ed published in The New York Times yesterday, Sheila Bair, the George W. Bush-appointed chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from 2006 through 2011, wrote that recent research by economist Emmanuel Saez should prompt Republicans to rethink their policies.

Saez studies income inequality in America, which reached a 90-year-high in 2007, immediately before the financial crisis. And Saez’s recent studies have found that, since 2009, inequality is again on the rise. The economy’s gradual recovery is only a recovery for the one percent: In the last two years, the richest Americans have seen their incomes grow by 11 percent, while the bottom 99 percent of Americans saw their incomes shrink by 0.4 percent.

In the op-ed, Bair writes that tackling inequality is consistent with a free market ideology, and that her party should embrace it as their prerogative:

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