En route to Iowa, Hillary Clinton's motorcade pulled over yesterday at an Ohio Chipotle for lunch. She grabbed a chicken burrito bowl with guacamole, but didn't even bother to introduce herself to any of the potential 2016 voters, instead preferring to go incognito in sunglasses.
But interestingly, Chipotle has been tied to one of her family's outfits, the Clinton Global Initiative.
Last year, Chipotle’s co-CEO Monty Moran spoke at the annual event in New York City. He shared a stage with other business leaders (including possible Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina) and even Bill Clinton himself.
The title of Moran's panel discussion was, "The Case for Economic Justice." It was moderated by then Meet the Press host David Gregory.
"Understand how talented the group of people in the United States are who don’t have education and who don’t have much experience, and also the immigrant population. Understand how talented they are and that...they have fundamental characteristics that will allow them to be incredibly powerful future workers in our country if we only empower them," Moran told the audience.
A minimum wage hike and income inequality were central topics of the conversation last year at the Clinton Global Initiative. Both are expected to be central themes in Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidenital run.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has devoted time of late to discussing the significant problem of inequality. At a conference on April 2nd, Ms. Yellen urged that research be undertaken “to understand whether any policies may hold people back or discourage upward mobility.” Perhaps such research might start at the doorstep of the Federal Reserve because the Fed’s sustained policy of near-zero interest rates has increased inequality, as well as made it more difficult for the middle class to climb the economic ladder.
Income inequality in the United States has been increasing for a generation. The share of pretax income received by the top 1 percent of earners rose from 7.8 percent in 1973 to 17.4 percent in 2010. A broader and widely used measure of inequality—the Gini coefficient—indicates that inequality for the entire range of income recipients rather than only the top 1 percent has risen by 26 percent since the early 1970s.
Barack Obama’s latest State of the Union address was a dreary, tiresome affair—which, to be fair, could be said of most such addresses by most modern presidents. The only real surprise was how he soft-pedaled the problem of inequality. Pre-speech hype had promised this would be the centerpiece theme, and it’s certainly one that has been a hobbyhorse of his Democratic party since its founding. But perhaps, on deeper reflection, we should not be so surprised that the word itself was only mentioned once.
Recently the FT's Ed Luce spent some time with families in Minnesota and Virginia and concluded that we're pretty much done for. The American Dream, Luce says, has become "America's Fitful Reverie." His article is worth reading in full; in fact, it's the best summary of the decline argument that I've read.
Of course, whether or not Luce is right is another question entirely.