We’ve repeatedly noted that inequality in America today is worse than it was in the Gilded Age
, worse than in Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen
, and worse than in many banana republics in Latin America
We’ve also noted that inequality in modern America is twice as bad as in ancient Rome
... which was built on slave labor.
A newly-updated study
by professors Peter Lindert of the University of California at Davis and Jeffrey Williamson of Harvard shows that inequality is now worse than in the slave-holding colonies. As the Atlantic notes
American income inequality may be more severe today than it was way back in 1774 — even if you factor in slavery.
This is not a partisan issue: both conservatives and liberals are concerned about runaway inequality
and the collapse of social mobility
Indeed, we’ve known
for thousands of years
An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.
Obviously, we do not condone slavery. As the Atlantic notes in a footnote:
Please don’t interpret anything in this article as suggesting that American slavery was anything less than horrific. The paper only suggests that on a strictly dollars and cents basis, income was skewed less towards the rich during the colonial era than it is today.