Pope Francis: 'Inequality Is the Root of Social Evil'

by Wynton Hall

Apr 28, 2014 5:56 AM PT

On the heels of the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, Pope Francis sent a tweet from his verified Twitter account declaring, “Inequality is the root of social evil.”

Pope Francis’s tweet echoes President Barack Obama’s statement that income inequality is “the defining challenge of our time.” However, Obama's own pollster, Joel Benenson, toldreporters at a Democratic gathering that he believes "the attention on inequality is a bit over-hyped." 

Economists attribute a host of micro and macro factors to explaining the accelerated gains of top earners. A new study by an international team of economists led by University of Pennsylvania's Jeremy Greenwood finds that "assortive mating" behaviors--choosing to marry within one's own educational or income strata--have widened the gap between lower and upper income earners. 

Also, a book by two MIT professors titled The Second Machine Age concludes that income inequality's "main driver is exponential, digital, combinatorial change in the technology that undergirds our economic system," which allows young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to achieve stratospheric wealth in record time.