The growth of income and wealth inequality has enormous economic and political consequences, both in the United States and around the world. The subject is likely to be a major issue in this year’s congressional elections and the 2016 presidential campaign.
The debate has been informed by Paris School of Economics Professor Thomas Piketty’s new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Piketty, drawing on two centuries of data in 20 countries, concludes that extreme and potentially destabilizing increases in inequality may be in our future absent changes in public policy.
On April 15th at the Urban Institute, Piketty provided a brief synopsis of his book while Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute provided commentary. Tax Policy Center Director Len Burman moderated the discussion, focusing on the role tax policy might play in mitigating income inequality.