Intelligence Squared US: Does Income Inequality Impair the American Dream?

(Rochester, NY) –  Income inequality has been on the rise for decades. In the last 30 years, the wages of the top 1% have grown by 154%, while the bottom 90% has seen growth of only 17%. As the rungs of the economic ladder move further and further apart, conventional wisdom says that it will become much more difficult to climb them. Opportunities for upward mobility -- the American dream -- will disappear as the deck becomes stacked against the middle class and the poor. But others see inequality as a positive, a sign of a dynamic and robust economy that, in the end, helps everyone. And contrary to public opinion, mobility has remained stable over the past few decades. If the American dream is dying, is it the result of income inequality? Or is disparity in income a red herring where more complex issues are at play? These questions are debated in Intelligence Squared US: Does Income Inequality Impair the American Dream?, airing Sunday, November 2 at 9 p.m. on AM 1370.

For the motion: Elise Gould, Senior Economist and Dir. of Health Policy Research, Economic Policy Institute and Nick Hanauer, Entrepreneur & Venture Capitalist. Against the motion:Edward Conard,Visiting Scholar, AEI & Former Partner, Bain Capital and Scott Winship, Fellow, Manhattan Institute.

Illustration by Thomas James


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