A movie date stirs great debate on income disparity

Michael Cox, director of the William J. O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom in SMU’s Cox School of Business, talks about the new documentary movie "Inequality for All".

By Steve Blow

It had been a while since I arranged a movie date. But I thought it might be a hoot to take Michael Cox to see Robert Reich’s new movie on income inequality in this country.

I knew I was right when he was already harrumphing at the ticket window.

“Enjoy your movie,” the ticket seller mumbled.

“Ha!” he blurted. “Enjoy, she said. I doubt that.”

Reich you already know — secretary of labor under Bill Clinton, former Harvard and now Berkeley professor, frequent talking head from the liberal perspective. He is now sounding the alarm about the shrinking middle class with the documentary Inequality for All.

Cox is former chief economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and is now a professor at SMU’s Cox School of Business. He heads the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom there. And I have been intrigued for years by his research showing that upward mobility is still very much possible through hard work and good choices.

In general, Reich believes government has an important role to play. Cox believes government should mostly go away....