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World Affairs Series: “Inequality in America”
Carolina Meadows


During the recent presidential campaign, “inequality” was a theme suggested by the rhetoric of both political parties. Democrats spoke of “tax fairness” and insisted that the rich pay their “fair share.” Republicans decried what they called “class warfare” and attacks on “job creators. They spoke of the “47% takers.”

Following the election, resident Judith Pulley who organizes the popular Carolina Meadows World Affairs lecture series, decided it would be of value to take a dispassionate look at the issue of inequality: Is there greater inequality today than in the past? If so, when did it begin? What were the causes? And can we, or should we, seek to alleviate inequality?

The March series examined the issue from a variety of perspectives, from conservative to libertarian to liberal. The programs included: a video interview conducted by the American Enterprise Institute with best-selling conservative author Charles Murray, who discussed what he called a new U.S. upper class and a new lower class which have diverged dramatically from earlier models; a live lecture by Nicholas Carnes, Associate Professor of Public Affairs at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, on “Why do Millionaires Run our Country?”; and two lectures by Judith Pulley herself: “Inequality in America: From the Great Compression to the Great Divergence” and “Inequality: the Causes and Consequences. Should We Care?”

Concrete answers are sometimes difficult to come by and on the issue of “inequality” there may be none. The goal of World Affairs is to present Carolina Meadows residents with a stimulating and thoughtful range of perspectives in order to generate awareness and understanding, leaving the conclusions to the audience. The issue of “inequality” falls into this category.


By CM Resident John Modisett

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