Kansas Progress Institute

Ad Astra Per Aspera ~ To the Stars Through Difficulties

Addressing Inequality as the Glue

Posted on March 28, 2016

By David Burress

You can cut like a knife through nearly every political issue if you assume the critical underlying issue is inequality.

  • The immigration question is the extent to which we treat newcomers as equal.
  • The school funding question is the extent to which students in different school districts are treated as equals.
  • The taxation question is the extent to which taxes will increase or reduce income inequality, and similarly for the minimum wage.
  • The voting rights question is the extent to which all individuals have equal access to the vote.                    
  • The Obamacare question is the extent to which everyone gets equal access to health care.                            
  • The carbon fuel question is the extent to which our grandchildren will enjoy a climate comparably livable to the one we have now.                                                                                                                                                  
  • The runaway manufacturing plant question is the extent to which blue collar workers receive wages and benefits comparable to white collar workers.
  • The gender question is the extent to which men and women and LGBT individuals have equal access to all the benefits and burdens of our society. 


Therefore there is one and only one accurate way to define modern progressivism (apart from its logical correlates): 

a progressive is one who supports substantial reductions in inequality.

As I have argued before, however, in nearly every case reductions in inequality support increases in efficiency (as defined by economists, not by Republicans).
Therefore we can equally well define a progressive as one who supports substantial improvements in social efficiency.

1 thought on “Addressing Inequality as the Glue”

  1. It follows that a traditional conservative is one who seeks to keep the level of inequality about the same as it already is; while a radical rightist is one who seeks policies that would have the effect of substantially increasing inequality along one or more dimensions. There is nothing controversial here with respect to political theory, other than focusing more clearly than is usual on equality.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *