Far from establishing – or even debating – a specific level to which to reduce inequality, politicians continue to allow it to rise. This will change only when policymakers treat inequality more like GDP growth, health care, or climate-change mitigation: as the subject of serious debate and concrete action.
In an editorial on Project Syndicate, I call on politicians to choose and state the level of equality or inequality that they consider optimal for society. And by all means, there should be different aspirations – but not engaging in a normative way with inequality, simply allows it to run out of control.
Inequality is an emergent property of the underlying social and economic systems. As such it is not straightforward to influence. But neither are economic growth, happiness, liberty or human rights.