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How Wealthy Is Too Wealthy?

In the debate over the legitimacy of the “Occupy” movement and the frustration some Americans feel over the alleged 99 percent vs. 1 percent (poor vs. rich) ratio in the United States, it’s fair to pose the question: “What is the right ratio of rich to poor in the U.S. today?” The answer may help us better define the American Dream and strive for an acceptable ratio of income inequality. It will also help us appreciate America’s time-tested market economy. Since last summer, the “Occupy” movement has stirred debate over the arguments of Occupiers, Tea Party advocates, and others in the political sphere, over the proper role of government and the nature of modern American society. Here at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics (IOP), where I’m a teaching fellow for the spring 2012 semester, debate and discussions abound on this topic. Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland is leading a study group on the topic, “Class Warfare”/George Nethercutt, Pacific Northwest Inlander. More here.

Question: Given our free-market traditions, is there any such thing as being too wealthy?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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