At the time I thought, "Good God, NPR must have spent a long time looking for someone who would argue that the demise of the middle class is a good thing." I mean, even the World Bank has some harsh words for such inequalities:
- High inequality reduces the pool of people with access to the resources—such as land or education--needed to unleash their full productive potential. Thus a country deprives itself of the contributions the poor could make to its economic and social development.
- High inequality threatens a country’s political stability because more people are dissatisfied with their economic status, which makes it harder to reach political consensus among population groups with higher and lower incomes. Political instability increases the risks of investing in a country and so significantly undermines its development potential.
- High inequality may discourage certain basic norms of behavior among economic agents (individuals or enterprises) such as trust and commitment. Higher business risks and higher costs of contract enforcement impede economic growth by slowing down all economic transactions.
Good job NPR. Thanks for the laugh!