US Becoming 'Democracy in Name Only'
Income inequality threatens 'whole nature of our society': Paul Krugman
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2011 1:32 PM CDT
A sign is seen posted between tents at the Occupy Oakland encampment Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(Newser) – A new CBO report tells the same old story, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times: The very rich are getting much richer at the expense of everyone else. Cue the think tanks and "obfuscators" who say it ain't so for all kinds of reasons. They're just trying to "obscure the stark reality," writes Krugman. "We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only."

This inequality matters for reasons that are both practical—it makes clear that asking the rich to pay higher taxes must be part of our long-term budget fix—and of the big-picture variety mentioned above: "Extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy," writes Krugman. It's "warping" our political process, and the problem is only getting worse. "The truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake."