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Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller

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Chapter 27

Inequality and Injustice

We have ample reason to believe that financial markets are quite useful. And yet our wonderful financial infrastructure has not yet brought us the harmonious society that we might envision. There remains the ugliness of extreme economic inequality, of some who endure hardship while others are pampered. While some inequality is actually in many ways a good thing, for the motivation and stimulation it provides, arbitrary and extreme inequality poses problems.

The public aversion to inequality is deep seated and ancient. It has been shown that even our distant relatives, nonhuman primates, share with us an aversion to inequity.1 It is an imperative that people feel society is basically fair to them.

We see this ...

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