Inequality denial: Déjà vu all over again

When Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century was published this spring, it became an unlikely bestseller—bringing some much-needed research and rigor to the debate about global inequality. As its profile grew, the book prompted many thoughtful reviews and responses and sparked conversations everywhere from Twitter to cable TV. And then the backlash began, with pundits attacking Piketty’s footnotes as a means of discrediting his larger argument.

In a provocative op-ed in Quartz, Ford Foundation president Darren Walker explains what these inequality deniers have in common with climate change skeptics—and why we can’t afford to look away from the reality of both problems. “Given that inequality and climate change are two of the most significant challenges to humanity in this century, it is critical we see the debates surrounding them for what they truly are: enormous struggles over power and possibility,“ he writes.

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The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.