America Has Richer Rich People Than Most Countries

I’ve got some kind of nasty stomach bug and I feel lousy. Does that mean I should take the rest of the day off, or that I should use it as an excuse to be meaner than normal to the usual suspects? Decisions, decisions.

In the meantime, here’s a chart that I already made so it’s ready to go. It shows the change since 1980 in how much wealth the top 1 percent controls in a bunch of rich countries:

This comes from Jonathan Rothwell, who ultimately places the blame for high US inequality on doctors, lawyers, and bankers. I’m not so sure of that, but I thought the chart was worth putting up just to show that high income inequality isn’t some inevitable feature of modern capitalism. Every other country has lower levels than us, and many of them have way lower levels. This is basically a political decision, and we’ve decided that the rich should be very rich indeed.

And then we decided they need a tax cut. After all, since they make more money, they pay more taxes. That’s just not fair, amirite?

Hmmm. I guess I decided on the “meaner” option.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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