Concern over the rising gap between the rich and poor has been the primary rationale for President Obama's redistributive policies. But one important aspect of the American economy that should lessen concerns about snapshots of income inequality is the mobility of people up and down the economic ladder. If people move quickly up and down through the income spectrum, the position they occupy at any point in time may be less of a concern. Moreover, it is natural that people at different stages in their life cycle of earnings—just entering the work force, just retired, or midlife during their peak earnings years-would occupy different rungs of the economic ladder.
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