On the heels of the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, Pope Francis sent a tweet from his verified Twitter account declaring, “Inequality is the root of social evil.”
Inequality is the root of social evil.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 28, 2014
Pope Francis’s tweet echoes President Barack Obama’s statement that income inequality is “the defining challenge of our time.” However, Obama’s own pollster, Joel Benenson, told reporters at a Democratic gathering that he believes “the attention on inequality is a bit over-hyped.”
Economists attribute a host of micro and macro factors to explaining the accelerated gains of top earners. A new studyby an international team of economists led by University ofPennsylvania’s Jeremy Greenwood finds that “assortive mating”behaviors–choosing to marry within one’s own educational or incomestrata–have widened the gap between lower and upper income earners.
Also, a book by two MIT professors titled The Second Machine Age concludesthat income inequality’s “main driver is exponential, digital,combinatorial change in the technology that undergirds our economicsystem,” which allows young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to achieve stratospheric wealth in record time.