I watched this amazing video earlier today which shows, in graphical form, what Americans think the income distribution in that country is, and what it should be. Then it shows what it actually is. The video is well worth some minutes of your time:
It strikes me that these disjunctions between what people think of as fair, and how the world actually?is, are growing more and more pronounced. And yet, at the same time, our ability to?describe that lack of fairness, and even to propose solutions to it, seems to be weakening; even something mildly redistributive, such as Ed Miliband’s proposed energy freeze, is angrily dismissed as anti-capitalist or even socialist and thus,?ipso facto, inherently and precisely wrong. I’m not saying Miliband’s idea is correct; for what it’s worth, I agree with Tim Harford that it’s probably wrong-headed. But that’s not how it’s been discussed: it’s either an attack on capitalism, or it isn’t, seems to be the extent of analysis in most places.
The great and growing failure of the Left is in articulating an alternative that is clear, non-ideological and rooted in people’s instinctive sense of fairness. These inequalities are great and they are growing.
So what are we going to do about it? And how are we going to describe what we’re going to do in words that won’t be immediately captured by vested interests?