Income Inequality (Letter to the Editor, The New York Times)

04 Aug 2014 | Angela Glover Blackwell
Income Inequality (Letter to the Editor, The New York Times)

Reposted from The New York Times, Letter to the Editor by Angela Glover Blackwell

Re “Income Inequality and the Ills Behind It” (Economic Scene column, July 30):

Eduardo Porter poses a provocative question: “Is it time to stop obsessing about inequality?” It is not, but the debate must focus on the inequality that matters.

The conservative economists Mr. Porter cites have something right: The real issue is the lack of good jobs that pay enough to make ends meet and that offer opportunities to move up.

Addressing this economic ill is even more urgent given the country’s changing demographics. People of color, who have long been excluded from meaningful economic opportunity, will be the majority of the population by midcentury.

An ambitious strategy to grow good jobs is the path to a stronger and more equitable economy.

First, create new good jobs by investing in infrastructure and entrepreneurship and target these efforts in low-wealth communities.

Second, transform low-wage jobs into good jobs by raising the minimum wage and expanding the number of employers whose business model emphasizes treating their workers well.

Third, aggressively dismantle barriers to employment and connect vulnerable people to good jobs.