This assignment is worth 15 points and requires that you write at least 250 words (about
1 page, depending on formatting). Papers will be graded on correctness, clarity, and
conciseness of the writing, as well as content.
Before you start writing please read the following article (linked to the course web site at
“The Inequality Conundrum” by Roger Lowenstein, New York Times, June 10, 2007
After you have read the article, please answer the following questions (at least 250 words
total for all four questions):
1) Define the term “income inequality” in your own words. Over the past 25 years, what
have been the trends in the United States, with respect to income inequality? Has
income inequality increased or decreased, and by how much? (You will receive one
extra point if you use the word “quintile” correctly in your answer.)
2) What are some possible reasons for the observed changes in income inequality during
this period? Please give at least 3 possible reasons.
3) Some people think that income inequality is a good thing. Please explain why income
inequality might be a good thing.
4) Other people think that income inequality is a bad thing. Please explain why income
inequality might be a bad thing.
5) If policy makers decided they wanted to reduce income inequality, what are two
legislative actions they could take to accomplish this goal?