Inequality: Let's talk about it.

Connecticut leads its peer states in wage inequality, showing sharp growth in the last five years, according to a new Connecticut Voices for Children report.

Compared to Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, Connecticut is most unequal. By 2010, our very high wage earners made 5.37 times the wage of the lowest-income workers. That's up from 4.75 percent in 2006, higher than the national average of 4.71, and above our peer states' average of 5.17.

Connecticut's disparities are also worse than the national average for blacks and women. The report also notes that education pays: People with university degrees earn twice as much as those without them.

WNPR's "Where We Live"  explored a related and intriguing tax plan last week, under which defined levels of inequality would trigger different tax rates.

If the rising tide indeed lifts all boats, then the rich would pay less. But if the rich get too much richer than those with the least, they would pay a higher rate.  The discussion suggests we engage in debate about what we as a society will tolerate as an acceptable level of inequality.

Such a dialogue would help raise awareness and build consensus.

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