How Republicans could benefit from the popularity of liberal best-sellers

A serious Republican plan for reducing income inequality

Boehner
(Image credit: (Mark Wilson/Getty Images))

Liberals have finally cracked the nut of inequality. They've managed to write books about social justice and corporate corruption that large audiences want to read. Thomas Piketty, the French economist whose Capital in the 21st Century has sold about 40,000 copies to date, the largest haul in Harvard University Press' history, is a la mode right now. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) is already a best-seller. And Michael Lewis' latest narrative story about how fat cats manipulate the technological neutrality of Wall Street to game the system — well, that makes three, and three is a trend.

Although health care reform redistributes resources from the wealthy and is perhaps the most significant exercise against poverty since the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the political conversation is fairly anodyne, and quickly backs up like plumbing in a tenement. Democrats have the momentum, but good laws are made when the parties are somewhat competitive in the realm of ideas. (Health reform, of course, is the purest example.)

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