Monday, March 16, 2009

Inequality Score

"The American Human Development Index (HDI)...is especially troubling because it puts all this economic gloom and doom in stark human terms...[I]n good times as well as bad,in terms of aggregate health, education, purchasing power, security and general well-being, we have been in decline...[By] 2006, we had had even fallen out to the Top 10 (to slot 15).

Dalton Conley, "America is #...15?: Because of income inequality, the U.S. scores poorly on a new index of general well-being," The Nation, March 23, 2009.

Maybe this is the right historical moment. I hope that our economic tumble and the endless implementation details and short-term opportunities of ARRA don't divert us from the real game -- the new federal budget. Of course the inequality gap can't be closed without economic growth; but many argue that long-term economic competitiveness requires less inequality. Likewise, we've got to get the short-term stuff right.

"The budget that passes Congress has the potential to take our country in a truly new direction -- the kind of change we all worked so hard for. We didn't fight to shy away from the tough long-term decisions Washington has ducked for far too long."

David, Plouffle, Organizing for America, March 13, 2009

A fundemental policy redirection in need of grassroots mobilization. Have any ideas besides pledging?

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