Confronting Inequality: Political, Educational and Social Consequences & Remedies

Inequality in wealth and income appears to be growing in the United States, and in some other areas of the world. This widening gap often leads to unequal opportunities in education, career paths, inter-generational upward mobility (doing better than one’s parents), and in politics.

Here in the United States, we've seen Occupiers face off with Tea Partiers on a host of issues, focusing heavily on whether disparities in income and wealth are due to merit and hard work, or due to unfair exclusion of “the 99%” from opportunity.

This debate over inequality and “class warfare” is, of course, spilling over into the 2012 elections, leading to heated discussions on tax rates and budget priorities.

Yet there is recent and careful scholarship on the topic, developed by economists, political scientists, sociologists, and others. Symposium presenters will lead a thoughtful exploration of what inequality means for our society, while Cal State Fullerton faculty members will present a “just the facts” description of inequality in wealth and income, and review the findings from Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Public Policy survey of Orange County residents’ views on inequality.

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