Another Republican idea I just don't get is how much we all benefit from the rich getting richer. If that were true, then why not just get it over with and give one guy all the money. Just think how rich we'd all be then!
Concentration of wealth is not kind to most people. When I think of inequality, I think of slaves building pyramids to the pharaohs. Not my ideal society. Anyways, that's the direction we're heading, unless we figure it out & take action!
Top 1% share of income in world history
- the height of the Byzantine Empire in the year 1000 = 31%
- US 2013 = 22.5%
- Imperial China 1880 (before the Boxer rebellion) =21.3%
- Colonial Mexico 1790 = 21.1%
- Imperial Rome in the year 14 = 16.1%
- India under the Mughal Emperor in 1750 = 15%
- Kingdom of Naples in 1811 (monarchy restored to prevent revolution) =14.3%
- British India in 1947 = 14%
- Bihar India under the East India Co in 1801 = 11.5%
- Brazil with slavery in 1872 = 11.2%
- England with food riots in 1801 = 8.9%
- England around the 'glorious revolution' in 1688 = 8.7%
- Spanish Bourbons of Old Castille 1752 = 7%
Notes: The US top 1% income share is a recent estimate and may use a different methodology. The other countries are from Page 78 of this very dry paper with a little added historical context. The NBER paper's authors put the US at 6.6% in 2000 when the stock market crashed. I'm not an economist, but I'm pretty sure they didn't have stock options, deferred compensation or golden parachutes back in Byzantium. So, I believe the current 22.5% rate to be more comparable than the authors' methodology which somehow excludes most of our top 1%'s current income.