Comparing and contrasting Reich’s with Piketty’s viewpoints on income inequality
In terms of similarities, the two authors focus their attention on USA a lot as they discuss the issue at hand. They also look at some of the factors that have led to inequality and the possible implications of these factors.
POINTS OF AGREEMENT
The two authors agree that there are income and wealth inequalities. Piketty on his side claims that the problem was rampant in Europe between 1900 and 1910, but it is now rampant in USA (Piketty). Reich, on the other hand, agrees to the existence of inequalities by demonstrating how certain groups of people lose their incomes whereas others gain more income (Reich 404). As this takes place, the authors are able to demonstrate the way income inequalities develop and affect economies.
As for the factors that cause the inequalities, the two authors agree that the supply and demand for skills together with globalization play critical roles in enhancing those inequalities. Piketty highlights these factors as he identifies the reasons for inequality while Reich elaborates how the two factors lead to inequality.
POINTS OF DISAGREEMENT
Whereas the two authors agree that there is income inequality, they do not agree how to address it. Piketty claims that this problem should be addressed through progressive taxation, registration of financial assets and transmission of bank information as well as through global coordination of wealth taxation. On the other hand, Reich suggests that this problem can be addressed by the function that a person performs. They also do not explain the inequalities in the same way. On one hand, Piketty claims that income inequality is caused by higher returns on capital than economic growth (Piketty). On the other hand, Reich claims that this inequality is caused by shifts in industries. In particular, he claims that while some industries are on the decline others are booming (Reich 404).
Piketty, Thomas. New thoughts on capital in the twenty-first century. Web. 8 Feb. 2016. http://www.ted.com/talks/thomas_piketty_new_thoughts_on_capital_in_the_twenty_first_century?language=en
Reich, Robert. Why the rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer. Print.