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Even Slaves in 1774 Colonial America Experienced Less Inequality than We Have Today

Posted By yihan On October 16, 2012 @ 8:19 am In Money Watch | Comments Disabled

WashingtonsBlog [1]
October 16, 2012

Even Slave-Holding Societies Had More Economic Equality than Modern America

We’ve repeatedly noted that inequality in America today is worse than it was in the Gilded Age [2], worse than in Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen [3], and worse than in many banana republics in Latin America [4].

We’ve also noted that inequality in modern America is twice as bad as in ancient Rome [5] … which was built on slave labor.

A newly-updated study [6] 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 [7]:

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 [8]and the collapse of social mobility [9].


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URLs in this post:

[1] WashingtonsBlog: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/10/even-slaves-in-1774-colonial-america-experienced-less-inequality-than-we-have-today.html

[2] in the Gilded Age: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/12/extreme-inequality-helped-cause-both-the-great-depression-and-the-current-economic-crisis.html

[3] Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/01/inequality-in-america-is-worse-than-in-egypt-tunisia-or-yemen.html

[4] banana republics in Latin America: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2010/09/08/129728016/income-more-unequal-in-u-s-than-in-parts-of-latin-america?ft=1&f=1001

[5] twice as bad as in ancient Rome: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/12/inequality-was-one-of-the-main-reasons-for-the-fall-of-ancient-rome-and-inequality-in-america-much-worse-than-it-was-in-rome.html

[6] study: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18396

[7] notes: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/us-income-inequality-its-worse-today-than-it-was-in-1774/262537/

[8] runaway inequality: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/09/conservatives-worry-that-runaway-inequality-will-destroy-economy-and-society.html

[9] collapse of social mobility: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/01/conservatives-and-liberals-are-both-concerned-by-the-collapse-of-social-mobility.html

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