I feel like there is an unarticulated doing/allowing issue floating around in the background in this debate. Say the U.S. Congress cuts top tax rates. Is this politics causing higher inequality? Or is this evidence of relative indifference about allowing higher inequality? The left has the tendency to characterize every policy that might allow income inequality to rise as one intended specifically to have this result. This is a lot like the right's characterizing, say, workplace safety regulation as a specific attempt to stymie the growth of small business. In each case, those opposed to a policy see its side-effects as more salient than the primary effects intended by those who favor it. Imputations of bad faith -- "you're really after the side-effect and your stated intention is garnish for malice" -- are never far behind. Having read most of the recent left-leaning literature on the politics of rising inequality, it is disconcerting to see the argument from malicious bad faith as far and away the dominant narrative. It's hard to find anyone who even tries to fairly understand the ideas behind the recent American right's preference for policies that do in fact tend to allow greater income inequality. Am I wrong to find this pathetic?
Having sat in right-wing/libertarian groups trying to convince the members that no, actually, the environmental movement isn't just faking an interest in the environment in order to further its true goal of halting/reversing economic progress, I can only say: a pox on both your houses.