Inequality and its discontents
Introduction The financial crisis of 2008-2009 and the lingering Great Recession that resulted have raised some profound questions about the nature of our economic system. Some have suggested that the meltdown was an inevitable consequence of deregulation and have called for firmer control over the creation and implementation of new financial instruments (Crotty 2009). Others have pinned the blame on an unsustainable run-up in housing prices and argued that the Federal Reserve should slow future bubbles in asset prices (Demyanyk and Van Hemert 2009; Fligstein and Goldstein 2009). Still others have pointed to excess consumer demand, particularly in the United States, and argued that we need to lift our savings rate to a higher and healthier level (Dynan 2009).