The United States is a nation of deep inequalities. Race, gender and sexuality are the obvious spaces that reveal those unlevel playing fields. But there’s another arena where the gaps aren’t immediately as obvious—but they’re increasingly important.
As lawmakers look for ways to pay for their massive U.S. infrastructure package, taking a chunk from legacy wealth may prove a piece of the solution. Under the plan advanced through the Senate with solely Democratic votes to spend $3.5 trillion on soft infrastructure, part of the tab will be picked up by asset-based income from rents, bond sales and dividends. In other words, the rich are going to be asked to pony up in places that—if we’re being honest—probably aren’t as dilapidated as poor, rural American communities. For years, there have been donor states and client states; now, the maker-and-taker model may apply to even ZIP codes within a county.