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Oxfam America
Inequality is hindering economic growth
Inequality is hindering economic growth

Everyone has heard that tackling poverty and inequality is bad for the economy. This is the dilemma that economist Arthur Okun, writing in the 1970s, called "The Big Trade-Off" — equality and efficiency are at odds. Yet more and more research and real-world experience suggest just the opposite. If there is a "Big Trade-Off," it is not between equality and efficiency. It is between policies that enrich the most fortunate and a broader distribution of opportunity that helps all Americans. The notion of a Big Trade-Off between equality and growth has been a mostly silent but sometimes explicit assumption of Washington policymakers. Today, for example, many argue we...