Fiscal cliff triggers discussions of government’s role in inequality

wealth or povertyThe recent fiscal cliff negotiations sparked some interesting conversations about inequality and, in some cases, government’s role in addressing inequality. A particularly thoughtful piece in the New York Times explains the domestic and global trends contributing to inequality and steps the federal government could take to address the barriers American workers face. “Economic Scene” columnist Eduardo Porter writes:

Consumed by the question of how big a government we can afford, they might want to give some thought to a more relevant consideration: How big a government do we need? … The American economy is facing enormous challenges, buffeted by the relentless tide of globalization and technological change and burdened by a rapidly aging population. To a large extent, our future well-being will depend on how the government responds, to what extent it cushions the blow for the most vulnerable and whether it helps workers adapt or leaves them to their own devices.

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