Paul Krugman (Reuters/Zainal Abd Halim)

Paul Krugman: The US will never be as great as Denmark, but it's not for lack of effort on Obama's part

Denmark has the lowest level of income inequality, and Obama's done what he can to bring us in line with it


Scott Eric Kaufman
May 20, 2016 4:32PM (UTC)

In his Friday New York Times column, economist Paul Krugman argued that the Obama administration's new guidelines on overtime pay will do "more than most people realize to fight extreme income inequality."

Does it go far enough? No, Krugman said, it will not create another society like the one he and his fellow baby boomers grew up in -- nor will it put the United States remotely on par with countries like Denmark, where powerful unions and policies that protect workers keep income inequality low:

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Among advanced countries, the U.S. has the highest level of inequality, Denmark the lowest. How does Denmark do it? Partly with higher taxes and bigger social programs, but it starts with lower inequality in market incomes, thanks in large part to high minimum wages and a labor movement representing two-thirds of workers.

Now, America isn’t about to become Denmark, and Mr. Obama, facing relentless opposition in Congress, has never been in a position to repeat the New Deal...

Read the rest at The New York Times...


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Barack Obama Denmark Elections 2016 Paul Krugman Tax Policy The Economy

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