Must-Read: Josh Marshall: Our Big Series On Inequality: “Bob Dylan’s line that ‘he who is not busy being born is busy dying’…

… [we] need to constantly reinvent, experiment and never settle into the comfort of the deathly hand of the past. So this is something… new…. We were able to get AFSCME to sponsor the series which gave us the funds to really do it right… polished… go deep without the standard need… to sweat whether… [it] pays off in page views and clicks….

Half a century ago… wealth and income inequality were at historically low levels. The US… [was] the factory for rebuilding the world… unions were… pervasive…. So how did we get from there to here?… Our aim is to provide some of the building blocks to to think critically about the question…. Teasing apart this often chicken and egg interplay between economic forces and political change is critical to understanding the unfolding story. The first installment… kicks off next week with Rich Yeselson… [on] the politics of the left and the decline of organized labor…. But it is only part of the story….

Next John Judis looks at the complicated politics of inequality… how those who are in many ways most affected by the flattened economic prospects of the middle class have become increasingly skeptical about government’s ability to shift the trend…. Next, Jared Bernstein looks at the numbers…. Finally, Brad DeLong looks at the debate over Thomas Picketty’s book Capital in the 21st Century. Piketty argues… that we have the question basically wrong. What is happening now is simply how capitalism works, says Piketty…. DeLong looks at Piketty’s thesis through the prism of economic and politics and surveys the reactions his work has generated over the last year…