Bill previously recommended -
One of the core premises of Luigi Zingales, A Capitalism for the People (Basic Books, 2012) is that the US economy is becoming more of a connection based system than a contract based economic system. As a young man growing up in Italy, a classic connection based system, Zingales decided to move to the US to puruse opportunities that talent and hard work presented to him. But over the past 20 years, Zingales observes, the US economic system has moved more toward the Italian system of connection and privileges, and thus he fears that the opportunities that individuals can succeed economically through talent and hard work are dwindling.
I would invite such a public discussion provided that the conversation would stress the dynamics of income distribution and the technical economics of wealth distribution as well as political economy considerations. Casey Mulligan's The Redistribution Recession (Oxford, 2012) must be read along side of Joe Stiglitz's The Price of Inequality (Norton, 2013). And, as part of our common knowledge the work of Gordon Tullock on The Economics and Politics of Wealth Redistribution should be included.
One other issue that is essential to keep in mind in these discussions -- and it is raised by the very Zingales thought experiment -- immigration and the case for open borders.