August 12th, 2014
12:26 PM ET

What I'm reading: Inequality debate avoids asking who is harmed

By Fareed Zakaria

“It is striking how the public discussion of inequality has been careful not to differentiate between citizens except by wealth or occasionally by the skill needed for their work,” writes Adam Posen in the Financial Times. “In most of the serious recent discussions on inequality, the idea that someone’s economic fortunes might depend upon race, gender or ethnicity is nodded to in passing, at best. Another blind spot is persistent regional backwardness – as besets West Virginia and Alabama, southern Italy and Portugal.”

“Instead of confronting these continuing harms of exclusion directly, commentators have fixated on the ways in which the rich become richer, and the fact that some have lost the opportunity to become rich. Popular resistance to high estate taxes may be puzzling to many. Yet, inequality due to inherited wealth is far less grave an injustice than an inequality that emerges because of inherited skin color, ethnic identity or place of birth.”


“I’ve been tracking allegations of fraud for years now, including the fraud ID laws are designed to stop,” writes Justin Levitt in the Washington Post. “In 2008, when the Supreme Court weighed in on voter ID, I looked at every single allegation put before the Court. And since then, I’ve been following reports wherever they crop up. To be clear, I’m not just talking about prosecutions. I track any specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls, in any way that an ID law could fix.”

“So far, I’ve found about 31 different incidents (some of which involve multiple ballots) since 2000, anywhere in the country.”


“On July 22, EU foreign ministers issued a statement calling on all terrorist groups in Gaza to disarm,” writes Benedetta Berti in Foreign Affairs. “And in a speech last week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the group’s post-war disarmament would be a key element in creating stable peace. Although ‘disarmament’ and ‘demilitarization’ are quickly becoming buzzwords in debates about how to end the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the notions are still vague and poorly defined. And that raises doubts about the purpose – and suitability –  of disarmament as a goal in this conflict or as a pre-condition for a ceasefire.”



soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Allan Kinsman©

    All people born are given a rare opportunity, unique really. Political systems still struggle with it. Governments create opportunities for money to widen the cracks of advantage. These create rules if unwritten which creep and are unseen for the most part but generate capital for those who know how to use a system. We observe these processes sometimes they are even reported. Dogma creates many illusions for those to ponder keeping many truths from being unveiled. The left and right fight and manipulate their agenda's keeping those who simply need a level playing field distant. One day we may listen to the wise and mend our ways. It would be to everyone's advantage. The problem is not who is right or wrong for in a natural world all things which don't follow natural law and can't adapt fail to thrive. We can observe this in the fossal record.

    August 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
  2. The "compassionate" GOP Solution

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    August 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    In opportunities of employment or admissione to schools, I oppose all discrimination based on race, gender, religion, or se-
    Xual orientation.
    I see no fairness in taxing anything that a parent leaves to his child.

    August 12, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
  4. chri§§y

    I so agree @ Joey!

    August 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm |

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