Tyler Cowen may just be right about one thing: people’s views of inequality seem to be changing.
“I view opinion as in flux,” Mr. Cowen said. “I find that fewer and fewer people, especially outside of academia, accept the skill-biased technical change story and more and more look to politics, privilege, rent-seeking and the like.”
Even while mainstream economists (like Cowen and Gregory Mankiw) are sticking with their story of just deserts—such that those at the very top continue to benefit from rewards to better skills, technical change, and globalization—and the only feasible solution is more education, lots of others—including heterodox economists and the general public—are looking elsewhere for both explanations of and solutions to the problem of growing inequality in the United States.
And that’s why the Cowens and Mankiws of the world want to change the topic: to worry about the global distribution of income and/or to argue that little can be done about inequality without undermining economic growth.
But they’re wrong. And people seem to be catching on to what’s happening behind the curtain. . .