Harvard Business School sets out to tackle inequality

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Think income inequality in the U.S. is bad? According to a new report, so do a surprising number of Harvard Business School alumni.

As the subject of income inequality becomes a mainstay of our national political dialogue, more and more high-profile individuals are stepping up in favor of taking action to address the problem. According to a report from Fortune, a new report from Harvard Business School professors suggests that the problem requires immediate attention, and many alumni agree.

The discussion about income inequality has been largely framed by the differences between the wealthy and working classes in America. The subject was thrust into the public consciousness in 2012, when presidential candidate and HBS alum Mitt Romney laid out a tax-cut plan that would largely benefit the wealthy. Romney secured the votes of people earning $100,000 and up annually by a large margin.

Fiscal conservatives have tried to gloss over the issue, even going as far as to call income inequality a “myth.” The latest installment of the Survey on U.S. Competitiveness, polling over 2,700 HBS alumni on the performance and prospects for American firms, however, has reflected a tectonic shift in the wealthy class’s attitudes on the issue.

Professor Jan Rivkin and Michael Porter authored a report on the survey’s results titled “The Challenge of Shared Prosperity.” They found that income inequality is increasingly seen as a threat to the country and its economy, and respondents are pessimistic that American companies can raise the standard of American life by increasing wages and benefits to struggling employees.

While the survey doesn’t offer a roadmap out of inequality, it does reveal that many people believe that it could be less extreme.

Daniel J. Brown

Daniel J. Brown (Editor-in-Chief) is a recently retired data analyst who gets a kick out of reading and writing the news. He enjoys good music, great food, and sports, with a slant towards Southern college football, basketball and professional baseball.

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