Ezra Klein‘s eloquent polemic against income inequality looks a lot to me like a case study on the economic consequences of being a superstar, coupled with the notion that superstar economics are taking hold in ever more fields due to communication technology. And it is frightening, as he suggests.
But it also offers a hint of its own way out — Bono is going to spend his $1 billion in Africa fighting AIDS. Because of technological advances, that amount of money may win against AIDS (for the record, I think not at this time, but perhaps as few as 10 years in the future that starts to sound plausible). It is well known that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation looks for challenges based on the estimated dollar amount to solve a global problem like Malaria, and they seem poised to take on more ambitious challenges as technology allows.
Can impossibly satisfied superstars like Bono and Gates be expected to make up in philanthropy what used to happen by workers spending wages? Is that realistic? Should charity simply be enforced through taxes or another measure?