As we listen to President Obama, Occupy Wall Street, and much of the mainstream media working themselves into a lather over inequality in America, one thinks of “Harrison Bergeron,” the 1961 short story by Kurt Vonnegut that posited a society based on perfect equality, “not only equal before God and the law . . . equal every which way.” The government employed a “Handicapper General” to ensure that no one was smarter, more athletic, or more productive than anyone else. Beautiful people were forced to wear masks, athletic people had to carry weights, and intelligent people wore radios in their ears to interrupt their thoughts with loud noises.
Yet for all the sound and fury — and beating drums in Zuccotti Park — almost everything that people presume about inequality in America is wrong.
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