The study of inequality has been going on forever. To give you an idea, the index used to measure how unequal the distribution of income is -- the "Gini Coefficient" -- was invented a century ago. So, why the sudden interest? Why worry now about something that has been the fodder of academics, politicians, and the media for so long?
With a president too often bold in words but timid in action facing a Congress more Republican and obstructionist than ever, little will get done to fix inequality. Even the Tea Partiers who howled in protest over the bailout of the big banks back in 2008 have been taken to the woodshed by the likes of Karl Rove, and are silent as establishment Republicans complete the return of the GOP as Guardians of the One Percent. For now, don't really expect further taxes on the wealthy that could help those at the bottom. (And did you hear much discussion of America's poor people at the State of the Union?) Funny how trickle-down economics, a concept beloved by the GOP and its plutocratic allies, as well as by corporate Democrats, become an abomination when the galoshes are on the other foot and favor the less well off. Suddenly, trickle-down becomes all wet.