In short, what distinguishes inequality moderates from Paul Krugman and other inequality alarmists is an open-mindedness that is willing to tolerate the messiness and ambiguity of empirical data. That open-mindedness extends to other important questions around inequality. While willing to consider new evidence, we find the existing research  on the supposed harms done by inequality weak, mixed, or flat-out unsupportive. We question  whether there’s any basis for deeming inequality “the defining challenge of our time.” (That link is to the eminently dispassionate sociologist Lane Kenworthy, a self-described Social Democrat.) We take into account economic mobility and the living standards of the middle class and poor in evaluating whether rising gains at the top are worrying. We acknowledge that while reducing inequality could have important benefits in the short-run, it might have substantial costs in the long-run. And, it is true, we do not instinctively deem mind-blowing  compensation at the top to be undeserved .