An easier solution to wealth inequality?


You’ve heard it before: America is becoming gradually more and more unequal. The top 5% of the nation’s earners control half of its wealth, and the top 20% bring in 86% of capital income, including interest and stock market gains.

What should be done about it? Plenty of economists would say nothing. But, if you believe the latest economic jeremiads, the eventual consequences of inaction could send society careening toward a horrifying form of new-age feudalism.

Thomas Piketty, the author of the best-selling inequality opus Capital in the Twenty-First Century, offered a highly publicized solution: worldwide income redistribution. In his book, Piketty espouses a stringent global wealth tax that would allow the government to manually smooth over the wealth gap. Politically, the plan is a non-starter.

Economic sociologist Joseph Blasi and co-authors think they have a third answer. Blasi, along with economists Richard Freeman and Douglas Kruse, wrote a…

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