11.S199 / 11.S949
Inequality is Undermining America’s Future. What Are We Going to Do About It?

In the 1970s, increasing income inequality began eroding the well-being and security of Americans. Long-standing inequities and lack of access to wealth across racial groups and among men and women accelerated, leaving more Americans unable to secure for themselves stable and reliable livelihoods for their families and loved ones. What factors and processes, institutions, and politics have led us to this moment? We will track the erosion of the middle class, the worsening of our income distribution, and the rising insecurity of Americans. The reading seminar will cover the last sixty years, examining geographic patterns of inequality, changes in our institutions and policies, with a search for mechanisms and practices to return hope to the nation about a brighter future.