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Who Killed Equality?

June 20 (Bloomberg) -- There are two main schools of thought on income inequality: The fatalists, who contend that rising inequality is the ineluctable result of a changing economy, and the redistributionists, who blame a skewed tax system and lethargic government. Perhaps it’s time to consider a third.

The fatalist case rests on technology: As we replace human toil with networked computers and tireless robots, those who own the technology or learn to master it benefit, and those whose jobs are displaced by technology suffer. The ease with which we outsource jobs, ship goods and videoconference to China helps people who own companies but hurts those whose jobs are shipped out. The winner-take-all economy is a boon to people who can market themselves or their product globally and a bust for those who can’t.