Income Inequality is the Highest in American History

‘America Is NOT Broke’: Michael Moore Speaks in Madison, WI — March 5, 2011

“Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.”
— Michael Moore

According to economists Peter Lindert and Jeffrey Williamson, the Gini coefficient in this country is now the highest it has ever been. “We went from one of the most egalitarian places in the world to one of the least,” Williamson told the Washington Post. “What happened?”

In his chronicle of the young United States in the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville famously said that “nothing struck me more forcibly than the general equality of condition among the people.”

The Gini coefficient is a measure of inequality in which 0 is perfect equality and 100 would mean perfect inequality, or one person owning all the wealth. A recent study by the financial services corporation Allianz found that the U.S. had the most extreme wealth inequality in the world, with a score of 80.56 – the highest concentration of overall wealth in the hands of the proportionately fewest people.

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  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on July 5, 2016 - 12:28 am

    But Richard, you have to ignore the 1%. There’s really nothing to see there. Here’s where the real story is:

    Actually Bernie, The Middle Class Is Thriving, Not Dying

    Politicians such as Sanders who warn of the growing gap between the “dreaded” 1 percent and the rest of the country get it all wrong. What Rose notes is that the real gap is between the middle class and those at the bottom of the economic totem-pole.

    See? And…

    So is it a coincidence that the groups who receive the most government assistance are those being held back the most? Of course not. Despite harmful government programs such as welfare entrapment and the job-killing minimum wage, every income group – with the exception of the bottom 5 percent – has seen a growth in income since 1979.


    The economic rot in Venezuela is precisely the result of such policies aimed to help the poor, but which always have the opposite effect. To quote President Reagan, it is not that liberals are ignorant: they just know so much that is not so.
    Central planning and “welfare” have not helped the poor. I think it is time we try a dose of freedom instead.

    Because we all know that ridiculously low oil prices couldn’t possibly have any effect on Venezuela. They just need a dose of that ol’ Reagan freedom. What could be simpler then that.

    The case is made stronger by the stunning credentials of the article’s author. He plans to attend law school next year.

    • #2 by Richard Warnick on July 5, 2016 - 6:52 am

      I would argue that in the USA the wealthiest income groups are receiving the most government assistance.

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