Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 12 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Will The 2020 Contenders Take On Inequality?

By       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page. (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 2553
Message Sam Pizzigati
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

But this progressive consensus on inequality did not survive the Cold War. With the capitalist-boss-baiting Soviet Union our archenemy, anyone who continued to trumpet New Deal distributional themes was suddenly deemed dangerously subversive. By the early 1960s, top Democrats were no longer talking up the importance of taxing the rich. John F. Kennedy's New Frontier assured Americans instead that a "rising tide lifts all boats." We needn't worry about the wealthy, the new party line went. If we just cut taxes to grow the economic pie, everyone could get a bigger piece.

By the 1990s, with no one in political power worrying about the wealthy, the predictable had taken place: America's richest had become fabulously richer, amid rising poverty and flat-lining wages. Republicans and Democrats shared responsibility for this. Both parties deregulated and privatized. Both lavished subsidies on the wealthy and their enterprises. Both hailed the rich as job creators.

"I'd like to create more millionaires than were created under Mr. Bush and Mr. Reagan," Bill Clinton even opined in 1992's first general election presidential debate.

Clinton succeeded at that task, as has every president since he left office. Will that pattern change if voters choose one of the candidates running to replace Donald Trump? Are these office seekers pushing policies and programs that hold out hope for a significantly more equal America?

Class wars unfold on multiple fronts, and virtually all national policies and programs affect how equally we distribute our income and wealth. But some fronts affect income and wealth distribution more directly than others. The Nation/IPS inequality questionnaire highlights these battlefronts, focusing on struggles that involve everything from taxes and inter-generational transfers of wealth to CEO pay and the composition of corporate boards.

The questionnaire is online at, as are the candidates' full responses. No candidates seeking the GOP's 2020 nomination chose to complete the survey, and none of them have made much of an effort on the campaign trail to address the inequality concerns that it raises.

The Democrats who chose not to complete the survey, by contrast, have commented on many of the questions it poses. The profiles that follow rest on those comments as well as the completed surveys.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).


Rate It | View Ratings

Sam Pizzigati Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Sam Pizzigati is an  Associate Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies

Editor,  Too Much ,  an online weekly on excess and inequality

Author, The Rich Don't Always (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Presenting America's Ten Greediest of 2013

A Daring Bid to Stomp Out CEO Pay Excess

Are Heartless People Simply Born That Way?

The Evolution of "Davos Man" into . . . Trump Fan!

In an unequal America, empathy, not just housing, has become too pricey

Counting Dollars the Rich Want Uncounted

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: