An issue that is always at the forefront of American politics is domestic economic policy and more importantly the issues of taxes and their expenditure. In spite of political rhetoric about America being a "class-less society" (as opposed to a "class-based" one like in Britain) the statistics doesn't measure up to this claim. As noted economist (a Nobel Laureate now) Paul Krugman points out,
"Thirty years ago we were a relatively middle-class nation. It had not always been thus: Gilded Age America was a highly unequal society, and it stayed that way through the 1920s. During the 1930s and '40s, however, America experienced the Great Compression: a drastic narrowing of income gaps, probably as a result of New Deal policies. And the new economic order persisted for more than a generation: Strong unions; taxes on inherited wealth, corporate profits and high incomes; close public scrutiny of corporate management--all helped to keep income gaps relatively small. The economy was hardly egalitarian, but a generation ago the gross inequalities of the 1920s seemed very distant. Now they're back" (Krugman, 2004).
The above passage neatly captures the wealth distribution conundrum of the American polity, wherein the ideological conflict between free market capitalism and social welfare has yet to find resolution. ...Show more