The Debate of Our Age: Are Incomes Too Unequal?

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Set all the blather, all the horse race and all the attack ads aside. Americans do actually face a real choice in November between two different ideological visions of the future of American capitalism. Republicans and Mitt Romney tend to put greater favor on the idea that lower taxes on capital and the wealthy will yield innovation and growth that will make the nation healthy again. Democrats and Barack Obama, by contrast, are far more likely to cite the growing gap between the rich and poor as a key drag on economic growth.

This morning on Bloomberg TV, which is the channel that happens when you take the ESPN out of CNBC, this debate played out in grand style, as Edward Conard, a former partner of Romney’s at Bain Capital, and Joe Stiglitz, a left-leaning, Nobel-winning Columbia economist, faced off over a small table to debate income inequality. Neither are proper surrogates for the campaigns; rather they exaggerate the differences between the two major party candidates. Romney has not embraced all the ideas in Conard’s new book and Obama has at several points not followed Stiglitz’s advice. But the two men did begin to flesh out the substantial differences in the visions that will come to a head this November at the polls.

Click this link to the video, as I try to figure out how to get Bloomberg footage embedded on Swampland.

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