Can We Talk – Income Disparity?

From Reuter’s Magazine: The One Percent War by Chrystia Freeland 1-26-12, a very long and astute article of particular interest to students of social change and its history:

“Branko Milanovic, a World Bank economist who is one of the leading students of global income distribution, writes in his latest book, “The Haves and the Have-Nots,” that it is far easier to secure funding for research about poverty than about income inequality. The reason for that is “rather simple even if often wisely ignored,” Milanovic says. “Inequality studies are not particularly appreciated by the rich.” Indeed, Milanovic says he was “once told by the head of a prestigious think tank in Washington, D.C., that the institution’s board was very unlikely to fund any work that had income or wealth inequality in its title. Yes, they would finance anything to do with poverty alleviation, but inequality was an altogether different matter. Why? Because ‘my’ concern with the poverty of some people actually projects me in a very nice, warm glow: I am ready to use my money to help them… But inequality is different. Every mention of it raises in fact the issue of the appropriateness or legitimacy of my income.””

I guess that since the media is the message, and the media requires financing, then if you can’t say it, it doesn’t exist. Pretty neat, huh? But do you want to say it?

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