For most radicals, the problem of poverty and the problem of inequality have been connected. Whether they had a theory of the exploitation of the working class or a gut sense that price-gougers and sweat-shop operators stole the bread of the poor, radicals have long felt that many were badly off because a few were so well off. This view has for some time been under attack, with the result that the issue of equality has also seemed to fade.
According to neoclassical economics and its philosophical derivatives, inequality as such is acceptable, as long as it also serves to raise the level of those at the bottom. All manner of inequality-producing economic arrangements are justified by this presumption, from incentive bonuses to entr...
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