In the last 30 years, income inequality has grown at a rate that hasn't been seen since just prior to the Great Depression. As Occupy Wall Street sought to remind us, the top 1 percent of the US earns 40 times more than the bottom 90 percent on average.
Although both sides of the political spectrum agree that wealth inequality in the US is real, neither can agree on the best solution to this problem. But what if there was a non-partisan, objective way to assess the causes of inequality and propose a potential solution? A solution based on something like, say, math?
According to a new report published today by the New England Complex Systems Institute, mathematics can indeed be used to find a solution to income inequality. And as it turns out, the math points to targeted programs that redistribute wealth to the poor as the way to close the inequality gap and improve the health of the economy as a whole.
"We need a very measured, but definite shift in direction that will address the economic problems and also address economic inequality problems," Yaneer Bar-Yam, a physicist and the founding president of the New England Complex Systems Institute, told me. "We went too far with Reaganomics and now we have to go back in order to have healthy economic growth."