As is true in Ferguson and other communities in the U.S., a gulf now exists between the rich and the poor, and between blacks and whites. This gulf is making it harder to empathize with people we don't know, and with people who are different from us.
There you have it: two extremely prominent political figures who got rich off the housing bubble, now taking time from their busy schedule to call on the Fed to raise interest rates and destroy millions of jobs. In the "show no shame" contest, this looks like a real winner.
Presidents have been unwilling to name, much less remedy, the deep economic forces that are turning payroll jobs into what I've termed "The Task Rabbit Economy" -- a collection of ad hoc gigs with no benefits, no job security, no career paths, and no employer reciprocity for worker diligence. But there are signs that maybe this issue is starting to break through.
Three years ago, we launched New Voice Strategies, a nonprofit designed to close the empathy gap by giving individuals a more direct say in our public institutions.
Literally, big ideas don't stand a chance in our media environment. According to a study by the University of California, San Diego, the amount of info we receive on our mobile devices and at homes everyday takes about 15 hours to consume.
Charles thinks he's the right person to tell us how to fix our economy, but he and his brother have exactly zero credibility to say we should be happy living the Koch brothers' version of the American dream (for people not named "Koch"): working in low-wage jobs with no benefits while wearing a smile. And here's why.
Who knew that a former executive at General Electric, a company widely-known for its tax dodging and outrageous lobbying expenses, would take a bold, selfless stand against income inequality as president of a public university?
Last week we got another opportunity to see the thinking of the very rich when Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, complained at a summit with African heads of state and business leaders that there is even an argument over the reauthorization of Export-Import Bank.
Stock options are used to reward longevity and loyalty, while salary is the benefit you get for doing your day-to-day job. Don't forego a salary negotiation because your employer offers a stock benefit.
For those Americans who have been materially successful, it may seem like everyone else simply chose not to follow the same path, but the reality is that most Americans don't know how to find that path.
Though in an earlier study I raised some questions about the claim that high inequality dampens growth, I clearly think there's something there, especially as regards mobility barriers, over-leverage leading to inevitable busts, and the interaction of wealth concentration and money-in-politics.
A few hundred ethnically diverse demonstrators filled a sunny afternoon with demands that fast-food chains pay a living wage.
Many in the financial industry couldn't care less about unemployment. They don't want to risk any inflation that could erode the value of their wealth. Their voices are being heard at the top levels of the Fed. It is essential that the broader public get involved in this debate as well.
From well-paid business executives to low-paid retail workers, everyone I talked with is weighed down by something similar -- the anxiety generated by hard times. Across the class spectrum, we all feel insecure. We just feel it and deal with it in different ways.
What someone is paid has little or no relationship to what their work is worth to society. Does anyone seriously believe hedge-fund mogul Steven A. Cohen is worth the $2.3 billion he raked in last year, despite being slapped with a $1.8 billion fine after his firm pleaded guilty to insider trading?
Little is known about people's thoughts about wages and fairness. In general, people favor some threshold of fairness, but what is this threshold -- and how widely is it shared? Two psychological scientists have recently begun exploring these important questions.