I like the piece, it is interesting, but the part here is where it loses me.The left would argue that the solution is for laws to transfer wealth from the rich to the middle class. That would increase consumption but, depending on the scope, would threaten the amount of capital available to investment by the transfer itself and by eliminating incentives to invest. You can't invest what you don't have, and you won't accept the risk of investment if the payoff is transferred away from you.
The agility of the American corporation is critical. The right will argue that allowing the free market to function will fix the problem. The free market doesn't guarantee social outcomes, merely economic ones. In other words, it may give more efficiency on the whole and grow the economy as a whole, but by itself it doesn't guarantee how wealth is distributed. The left cannot be indifferent to the historical consequences of extreme redistribution of wealth. The right cannot be indifferent to the political consequences of a middle-class life undermined, nor can it be indifferent to half the population's inability to buy the products and services that businesses sell.
No system guarantees social outcomes. No system can placate all political persuasions. The juxtaposition in the above ignores this, as if it is an either/or aspect in which there are conversing paradigms. Where you gain one thing in this paradigm and lose it in the opposition. The juxtaposition is misleading because the left cannot guarantee those things, either.
People that advocate free markets - or 'the right' - aren't proposing such a system to simply meet a political or social end - although they can. The argument generally is that the manipulation to bring about those ends - what 'the left' would do - is in itself troublesome and will lead to more unintended trouble. Whereas in the private sphere, those outcomes are what they are because the mass of individuals are proactively choosing it to be that way. Whether it is the right thing, whether it pleases all people, is not an issue because people's persuasions and moralities differ.
There is also a question of whether they should be listened to at all. Whether one's persuasions should figure as coercion on another.
The more worrying question for me is that, indeed, people are going to be split. There will be, and there is seeming to be, a group of very wealthy people and very poor people. Even in a free market type system people will be made poor and rich based on their decisions. What the author touches on is that during industrialization era of the late 19th century America had the biggest movement from the rich to the poor. It is also the era which is the most reflective of a free market environment - pre-income tax, pre-federal reserve, pre-progressive era.
Unfortunately, that era - since the progressive era - has been disparaged. It is the era with which 'Robber Barons' ruled. While I am sure there were dishonorable people in that era - as in every era - that mischaracterisation has given way to the kinds of policies that have given rise to a shrinking of the middle-class. What I mean by that is that while I agree there will be certain sets of people who vary in wealth, at least there was a period in which the movement was more fluid.
Because that's all you can be able to strive towards. That's the kind of system where even when there is an inequality in wealth and income, people won't be undermined and be bitter for it, as the article alludes to. At the least, they can see hope. It is when they see barriers that people become restless, that revolutions happen.
The author is right, neither proposed solution is perfect. What doesn't seem to be as plainly stated is that there is no utopia. The closest we'll get to the kind of utopia - in an employment sense - is when technology makes it a reality.