Niall Ferguson on economic inequality

Rich America, Poor America
Newsweek/The Daily Beast
January 16, 2012
Commentary by: Niall Ferguson, member of the Belfer Center Board of Directors
Topic: Economic inequality 

“There are ‘two nations; between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws…THE RICH AND THE POOR.’

The British novelist (and later prime minister) Benjamin Disraeli wrote those words about England in 1845. But they could equally well apply to the United States in 2012.

Since the advent of Occupy Wall Street, there has been a tendency to assume that only the left worries about inequality in America. The implication of OWS’s division of the country is that ‘we’ are ‘the 99 percent,’ and therefore conservatives must necessarily be apologists for ‘the 1 percent.’”

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