It’s the Economy, Democrats, but Inequality Is Not the Issue

ASPEN, Colo. — Is income inequality the defining challenge of our time? Bernie Sanders thinks so. He ran for president as inequality’s most ardent foe. So does Elizabeth Warren, the other champion of the Democratic Party’s left.

Even President Barack Obama, in his understated way, seemed to agree. Notably, he engineered perhaps the most aggressive redistribution of income since President Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s.

But maybe the issue should not be the party’s lodestar. This month, a clutch of Democratic governors, members of Congress and city mayors gathered with Democratic fund-raisers, strategists and other champions of liberal causes in this secluded patrician resort in the Rockies to hear that all this attention to income inequality could actually hurt them.

“Income inequality is severe,” Jon Cowan, president of the centrist Democratic research group Third Way, told the assembled politicos. “And parts of the economic system are unfair. But these are not the central problems vexing most Americans. Many of the solutions proposed to meet them are not responsive to the aspirations, needs and values of those Americans.”

- New York Times

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