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What Can the Private Economy Do to Address Inequality?


Published February 9, 2023

There is an ongoing debate on exactly how much of a role the government should play in addressing inequality. Yet people often overestimate how much the wealthy earn, how much they pay in taxes, and the actual level of income inequality. Many people believe that in times of crisis the state should expand its role, but the lessons from the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic suggest that its actions helped the wealthy more than the poor.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How big should the government be?
  2. When is the role of the government justified versus not justified?

Additional Resources:

  • Read “How Much Do Public Employees Value Defined Benefit Versus Defined Contribution Retirement Benefits?” by Joshua Rauh. Available here.
  • Watch “Tax Flight: Behavioral Responses to State Income Taxation,” with Joshua Rauh on PolicyEd. Available here.
  • Watch “Setting the Record Straight on Wealth Inequality,” with Tyler Goodspeed on PolicyEd. Available here.