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

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].