Inequality of wealth and income in the United States is as high as it has ever been. Family net worth is at a 43-year low. Nearly one out of six Americans relies on food stamps, a program which at the moment is threatened with extinction. In New York City, about 50,000 people, of whom 21,600 are children, are in homeless shelters.
These are troubling facts, and not just at a moral dimension but in terms of the threat they pose to social cohesion and stability. These economic conditions are not the inevitable result of technological change, globalization or some other inexorable force. They are human artifacts, not unlike climate change, and as with climate change they can be altered by intelligent, creative people pursuing long-term public-policy solutions.