Monday, August 3, 2015

The Liberals and Inequality, Then and Now

If the liberals are focused on inequality now, it's largely a result of people taking to the streets in movements like Occupy Wall Street and in militant actions like the 2009 Republic Windows plant occupation. We need to build on these efforts, and also to learn from the experiences of the 1930s, from the unemployed leagues, the self-help cooperatives, the sit-down strikes.

By David L. Wilson, MRZine
August 3, 2015

Articles on income equality sometimes note that the U.S. economy hasn't faced the current level of disparity since 1928, on the eve of the Great Depression. There has been much less discussion of the responses to the issue back then, even though income inequality was a major concern for policymakers as the Depression deepened and even figured prominently in one of the central pieces of New Deal legislation.

This isn't just interesting history. A look back at the 1930s provides an important perspective on the concern that liberal journalists and economists are now expressing over inequality -- and suggests ways for U.S. progressives to move beyond the liberal position.[...]

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