The Aspen Ideas Festival is now well into its third day and there is an issue, often unspoken, that has made the rounds at a number of the programs: Income inequality. It was there when David Brooks, Joe Klein, and others discussed the Supreme Court’s decision on health care reform and whether or not the decision will hurt or help Obama in the upcoming election.
While Romney will use Obama’s signature legislation to illustrate a bloated federal govenment that is draggging down the economy and hurting the income of lower and middle class Americans, President Obama will point to the economic burden lifted off the shoulder’s of those too poor to purchase health insurance.
The income inequality issue is right there, smack in the middle of one of the festival’s major themes: “How will we live in a world with exploding population growth?” How, in other words, can the world accommodate billions of poor people who are slowly becoming richer and will start demanding what the upper classes have grown so use to consuming?
The issue will surely be there in upcoming programs like “Requiem for the American Dream? Unequal Opportunity in America” and “Why We Don’t Want Everyone to Go to Harvard.”
And it was there, in full dress and standing to attention, when Alan Krueger, chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, spoke: