Just commenting on the top two arguments: Corporate greed is the desire that sustains inequality. Inequality is the mechanism that expresses this dysfunction in real terms. If corporate America is hogging the wealth and do not care about the consequences of this on wider society, this itself creates inequality. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If most of America is weak, than what happens to the chain?
TO ARGUE AGAINST IT WOULD BE THE SAME AS CONTINUING TO CRANK YOUR ENGINE OVER AND OVER WHILE KNOWING THAT THE IS NO GASOLINE IN THE TANK. IT WILL NEVER START! MASSIVE INEQUALITY WILL ISOLATE THE SAME ENGINE OF GROWTH AND IN A FEW DECADES OF MAKING NO PROGRESS THE POPULATION WILL CARE LESS AND THAT WILL BE THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR CAPITALISM AS WE KNOW IT. THIS CAN REALLY HAPPEN.
For sustained economic growth, the middle class people must maintain a healthy rate of expenditure and earning, which ensures job creation and further employment in a positive feedback mechanism. However, in recent times, because of the malaise of inequality and the narrowing middle class, the bulk of income goes to the top 1% of earners. Tax revenues fall if a rather large group of people fall below the tax threshold, leading to a spiraling downfall.
If people had more money to spend they would spend it. If a person on some entitlement program like food stamps was no longer eligible because they earned too much money they would buy their own food and probably more of it. A poor person who gets out of poverty has more choices of where to shop and to dream about the future. Poverty has nothing to do with growth. It is a stagnant state to be in. There is nothing to be gained by keeping people impoverished rather than offer them opportunities.
The economy cannot be strong with such a weak under class in our society. With inequality as prevalent as it is, the poor cannot get jobs because they are unqualified, and thus cannot make purchases in the economy. While the super rich may spend money, when more people have an more equal amount of money there is more turnover and spending, which improves an economy.
No, inequality is not holding back economic recovery. When the economy was at its worse, businesses were forced to make layoffs and work with less. As the economy starts to recover, these same businesses are seeing that they can still do more without hiring more workers while at the same time increasing the business profits. Once these businesses decide to hire back the workers that were displaced during the worst of the financial crisis, that's when the economic recovery can fully take place.
Inequality is a fact of life; it does not matter if you are rich, poor, educated, female, or male, you have experienced a biased situation. To blame the financial break down on one thing in particular cannot be done. However, the one thing we should agree on is that every citizen and every institution shares equal responsibility for the state of our country. Greedy banks, overzealous investors, no accountability, bad decisions, and our government are all among the various things that have us in this mess we face. Once mortgages and brokerage houses let the floodgates open, we all bought into the idea of affording more than we possibly can. To get ourselves out of this situation, we all need to do our share and come together as the proud citizens we are. Let us stop inequality now so for once we have balance handing over to the next generation.