July 2, 2014 Print

Recently, the American Enterprise Institute released “Opportunity for All: How to Think about Income Inequality”, a book of essays in which renowned liberty champion, Arthur Brooks, and other prominent AEI scholars, address the subject of income inequality. This topic, recently brought to the forefront of the public policy debate by French economist Thomas Piketty in his book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, has brought about the question: should we as a society focus on relative outcomes or actual increases in living conditions? AEI’s new book does a remarkable job of showing that the latter should be our focus. As Arthur Brooks, president of AEI, points out, “income differences are inevitable, and they are not inherently problematic as long as the opportunity to rise is available to everyone.” History has shown that the creation of capital has increased humanity’s standard of living in an unprecedented manner, and competition has allowed for a level of social mobility previously unknown to man. Brooks continues to note that, “mobility and opportunity are indeed falling in low-income America... and outdated policies actually exacerbate the problematic trends they are intended to reverse.”

Because the vision of free-market advocates is that of achieving a prosperous world for all members of society, we at the Atlas Network are committed to engaging in the income inequality debate. As our CEO, Brad Lips, noted in The National Review, “the inequality premise can be seized upon to advance free-market reforms that would actually benefit the poor, and that should have us all running to join Piketty in this important debate.” To learn more about AEI’s new book, click here. To read Brad Lips’ work on inequality, click here.