Arguments for the alleged necessity of inequality are manifold. May it be different capabilities, presumed “natural” biological differences, or the social and cultural background of a person, the result is always the same: Whoever stands up for equality among individuals is confronted with being called naïve or one sided. Especially referring to certain practical constraints of economic necessity or rational is a fundamental technique in such discussions. However, such constraints prevent a constructive discussion of distribution issues from taking place.
The importance and implications of the increase of inequality that empirical data shows, however, is a matter of discussion: on the one hand, inequality as seen as a fundamental prerequisite of the division of labour. On the other hand, increasing inequality is seen as one of the main causes of the current financial and economic crisis. Moreover, it is seen as counterproductive to establishing a socially stable society with satisfied citizens.
Against this background it is the aim of the 2015 summer academy to create a new platform to discuss distributional issues of capitalism. Doing so, the issue is not only discussed from an economist's perspective but also from others that aim to describe the social and political consequences of economic inequality.
As every year, it will be possible to discuss these issues with experts and tackle these questions in a variety of workshops to find hands on solutions.