We need a literature about being spoiled.… Most people who read in this country are spoiled and boring, yet all they want to read about is struggle and adventure. — William Upski Wimsatt, No More Prisons
To be fair, income inequality must have been much greater in the colonial period than it is today. Income gaps must have been wide up through the Civil War and Reconstruction, and I’ll allow that the 1890s in the USA were even worse than the 1990s.
Still, in the century or so since the United States became a world power, income inequality has never been greater than it is now. Class-defining inequality reached a new high in 2006, when the richest tenth of the population cornered half of all the earnings made in America that year. That surpasses the previous record set in 1928.
The financial crisis has destroyed much of the wealth charted in 2006, but that wealth is being rebuilt. Jobs and affordable housing are not, and so the gap is set to widen further.
And no one much cares. Continue reading “Read any unjust economies lately?”