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Why US Inequality Is Higher Than Europe’s

Since 1980, income inequality has exploded in the United States, while remaining much less extreme in Europe. Yet each side of the Atlantic could learn from the other in tackling the problem, which is as much about predistribution policies as it is about redistribution.

PARIS – Europe’s political forces are divided between those who regard the European Union as promoting unfair, inefficient neoliberal economic policies, and those who see the bloc as key to preserving the relatively equitable and inclusive “European social model.” Yet the recent European Parliament election featured little debate about this model, and generated few ideas for what policymakers should do to tackle income inequality across the continent.