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Is Income Inequality 'Morally Wrong'?

At CNN Opinion, John D. Sutter asked a philosopher, a think tank president and some academics this question: “Is extreme inequality amoral?” AEI’s president, Arthur Brooks, answered by saying that while inequality isn’t a moral problem, we should fix economic mobility.

Inequality isn’t a moral problem; opportunity is

In this school of thought, it doesn’t matter if the mayor of New York City is worth $27 billion (he is) as long as everyone in the city has an equal chance to succeed. That’s the view of Brooks, from the American Enterprise Institute. I asked him about that city, which is more unequal than any other metro in the U.S.

“The truth is there are a lot of really, really wealthy people there. Great! That’s a morally neutral concept,” he said. But not all of them have an equal opportunity at success, he said, in part because schools don’t perform well in all neighborhoods. That’s morally bankrupt. (Check out this wild map that shows the chances a kid at the bottom of the income ladder would have of climbing to the top. In Atlanta, where I live, a kid in the bottom fifth of income earners has only a 4% chance — 4%! — of making it into the top fifth of income earners.) Fix economic mobility, Brooks said, not inequality. And let the rich do their thing.

Read the rest of the responses at CNN. What do you think? Is income inequality morally wrong?