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E. Thomas McClanahan | The Obama years could become our ‘lost decade’





After five years of lousy economic performance, you would think people would be sick of it by now. Guess not. How else to explain why we’re having a big fight over inequality instead of arguing over how to jump-start growth?

There’s no denying inequality has increased. Median wages haven’t kept up while families in the upper tax brackets have prospered. But even so, getting the economy back on its typical growth path of 3.4 percent a year should be the overriding imperative.

That would do wonders for the immediate problem of too few jobs and too many jobless — not to mention the problem of lagging incomes and insufficient federal revenue.

Sadly, that’s not the topic du jour.

Prosperity harbors a contradiction. Rapid economic growth requires a relatively high degree of inequality, which is more tolerable when the pie tends to grow for all.



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