This first article makes sense of a book from last year about inequality, while the second seems to miss the point altogether; albeit while providing two worthwhile quotes.
most economists probably would contend that a change that makes some people in society better off without making anyone worse off must ipso facto represent an increase in economic welfare. It follows that inequality in income and wealth engendered by economic growth typically is not to be deplored.
But…Too much inequality gives those at the top the:
power to rig market processes in their favor or to exploit taxpayers through what economists call “rent seeking” – that is, profit made on government contracts that is not matched by commensurate value delivered to society. That linkage can easily make the rest of society worse off.
“There is a danger that the rapid growth in top incomes can become self-reinforcing through the political process that money can bring,” Professor Deaton warns — a process that can turn democracy into plutocracy.
Progress begets inequality, and the resulting inequality can either encourage more progress or impede it, or both. Professor Deaton suggests that inequality in the modern United States has had both of these effects.
The following seems to me a truth not all are willing to accept.
For most of human history, family incomes were barely enough to survive and life was short. But in “The Great Escape: Health, Wealth and the Origins of Inequality,” Professor Angus Deaton of Princeton writes that while economic progress allowed much of the world to escape poverty, “escapes leave people behind, and luck favors some and not others; it makes opportunities, but not everyone is equally equipped or determined to seize them.”