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The Affluent Society Revisited$
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Mike Berry

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199686506

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199686506.001.0001

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Inequality

Inequality

Chapter:
(p.30) 4 Inequality
Source:
The Affluent Society Revisited
Author(s):

Mike Berry

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199686506.003.0004

This chapter interrogates Galbraith’s large claim that economic inequality is declining in social and political importance in societies undergoing the transformation to affluence. Developments over the past 30 years, however, have undercut each of the key forces he identified as resolving tensions over inequality and distributive justice. Indeed, inequality has increased as a fact and poses new social and political tensions threatening the cohesion and prosperity of developed societies like the US. The problems of poverty and discrimination are proving far more widespread and intractable than Galbraith originally thought and may be contributing to the scale and severity of economic crises in the advanced economies.

Keywords:   Inequality, social justice, redistribution, poverty, income distribution, top one percent, countervailing power, lobbying, social mobility, the great moderation

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