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Author: Income Gap Played a Role in Election

One author who chose to give away his wealth sees income inequality as a driver in the presidential election. (V. Carter)
One author who chose to give away his wealth sees income inequality as a driver in the presidential election. (V. Carter)
November 16, 2016

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Chuck Collins used to be a "1-percenter," but now he's dedicated his life to fighting wealth inequality in the United States.

In his new book, "Born on Third Base," Collins tells his story of being born into a wealthy family and eventually choosing to give away his inheritance. He argued that income inequality is bad for society - and even the rich - because it undermines the economy and democracy, and cited common ground between the rich and poor who are fighting for solutions.

"It's understandable that people feel angry about how very wealthy people, a segment of wealthy people, have rigged the rules and created these inequalities," he said, "but there are actually a lot of potential allies there. The '1 percent' is not monolithic."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Baltimore has the highest level of income inequality in Maryland, followed closely by Talbot and Worcester counties on the Eastern Shore. Calvert County has the most evenly distributed income of any county in the state.

Collins said inequality was a driver in the presidential election as well.

"In a way, I think this was the inequality election," he said. "When you have an extremely unequal society, you have a polarized politics."

He said candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump represented populist resentments of the lack of a level playing field, economically.

More information is online at cnsmaryland.org. Census figures are at census.gov.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MD