I’ve greatly enjoyed (if that word can really be applied here) reading Timothy Noah’s extensive exploration of US income inequality. In this 10-article series, he explores explores a variety of factors that might explain the growing income inequality in the U.S. over the last half-century (called the ‘Great Divergence’), and what the likely contributing factors actually are.
If you aren’t convinced that this is imporant, read the last installment. Then go back and read the whole thing. The 9th part contains a bullet-point summary of the various candidate causes and how much they likely contribute to the issue.
One unfortunate caveat to this series is that it very much has a “take my word for it” flavor when it comes to why we should believe the scholars Noah favors vs. competing analyses of the theories in play. It’s still very much worth reading.
The whole thing is also available as a single PDF.