The New York Times has a nifty new interactive map drawing on new research about income mobility in the United States. It’s so interesting to play around with that it’s easy to overlook a sad, stark fact: Baltimore City is one of the worst places in the entire U.S. for income mobility.
Inequality is on the rise in the United States, as you might have heard; CEOs now make 354 times (!) as much as the average worker in the U.S.. At some companies the ratio is much worse — at JC Penny, the former CEO made 1,795 (!!!) times as much as his department store workers. It hasn’t always been this way; in 1950, CEOs made only 20 times as much as their workers.
When faced with numbers like that, it’s easy to just throw up your hands and assume rampant inequality must be inevitable. But that’s why this new proposal by students and faculty at St. Mary’s College is so inspiring: They want to cap the salary of the school’s highest-paid employee to ten times that of its lowest-paid employee.
Harvard Professor Michael Sandel will address one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Isn’t there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale?
Goucher College’s Roxana Cannon Arsht ’35 Center for Ethics and Leadership presents tomorrow a lecture by Professor Sandel whose new book, “What Money Can’t Buy,” explores the ethics of commercialism. The talk takes place in the Hyman Forum of the Athenaeum at Goucher from 8 – 9:30 p.m. and a book sale and signing will follow. The event is open to the public, but reservations must be made in advance online or by calling 410-337-6333.
We live at a time when almost everything can be bought and sold. Over the past three decades, markets — and market values — have come to govern our lives as never before. We did not arrive at this condition through any deliberate choice. It is almost as if it came upon us.
As the cold war ended, markets and market thinking enjoyed unrivaled prestige, understandably so. No other mechanism for organizing the production and distribution of goods had proven as successful at generating affluence and prosperity. And yet, even as growing numbers of countries around the world embraced market mechanisms in