A third dynamic widening income disparities is in some ways the most inconvenient of all: the collapse of intact families. The explosion of out-of-wedlock births and of children living outside of two-parent households has widened economic disparities of all kinds, including income.It is not that hard. If we had the political will, then we would start by shutting down all the govt programs contributing to family breakdown. A good step would be to abolish CPS, the family court, and welfare programs that favor single moms.
The reason is straightforward. The role that human and social capital plays in helping a person generate income in an advanced economy has increased over the last half a century. And over that same time, the primary institution for inculcating human and social capital has badly weakened.
Social scientists routinely find that individuals raised in intact families are generally better equipped to thrive in the economy. Today's 99% is teeming with tens of millions of Americans who were not raised in a stable home environment, and their earnings potential is compromised as a result.
The problem of family breakdown doesn't lend itself to easy fixes. And its cultural roots run quite deep at this point. But it's a safe bet that in the several months they occupied Zuccotti Park and other public spaces, not one new idea was raised by Occupiers that would help arrest this driver of increasing income inequality.
The Occupy protesters don't go around saying that we should have more competent bankers. It is tempting to say that the banking panic of 2008 was caused by incompetent bankers who were unprepared for a housing crash. No, it was caused by structural problems that allowed bankers and others to profit from bad loans.
The Occupy folks are driven by the bigger picture. They have a conviction that there is a financial elite that is running our economy to the detriment of the other 99%. The banking system is just a tool of the elite.
I believe that the welfare system, CPS, family court, and even the public schools are just tools of the people who are breaking down our social structure.