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In new age of wealth and inequality, calls for intervention go unheeded
In new age of wealth and inequality, calls for intervention go unheeded

Thomas Piketty, writing from France, is the latest person to sound an alarm about the growing inequality of income and wealth. But his ideas have distinctly American roots that date to the country's formation. The American Revolution was in part a revolt against hereditary wealth and aristocratic privilege, and the Constitution enshrined this spirit — directly, by prohibiting titles of nobility, and indirectly, by creating a Congress with far broader citizen representation than Britain's Parliament. Thomas Jefferson believed more was needed to protect against hereditary wealth. And so, a few months after he and the Continental Congress proclaimed, "We hold these...

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