Fewer than a thousand people in Italy have declared incomes of more than 1 million euros. Former Prime Minister of Italy described tax evasion as a "national pastime".
If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets. We have no idea how unequal our society has become. In their paperMichael Norton and Dan Ariely analyzed beliefs about wealth inequality. They asked more than 5, Americans to guess the percentage of wealth i.
Next, they asked people to construct their ideal distributions. Imagine a pizza of all the wealth in the United States. In an ideal world, how much should they have? The reality is strikingly different.
And they would like to live on a kibbutz. This all might ring a bell. An infographic video of the study went viral and has been watched more than 16 million times. In a study published last yearNorton and Sorapop Kiatpongsan used a similar approach to assess perceptions of income inequality.
They asked about 55, people from 40 countries to estimate how much corporate CEOs and unskilled workers earned. Then they asked people how much CEOs and workers should earn. Fifty years ago, it was to Again, the patterns were the same for all subgroups, regardless of age, education, political affiliation, or opinion on inequality and pay.
To be fair, though, we do know that something is up. Just five percent of Americans think that inequality is a major problem in need of attention. One likely reason for this is identified by a third studypublished earlier this year by Shai Davidai and Thomas Gilovich that suggests that our indifference lies in a distinctly American cultural optimism.
At the core of the American Dream is the belief that anyone who works hard can move up economically regardless of his or her social circumstances.
Davidai and Gilovich wanted to know whether people had a realistic sense of economic mobility.
The researchers found Americans overestimate the amount of upward social mobility that exists in society. Sure enough, people think that moving up is significantly more likely than it is in reality.
Interestingly, poorer and politically conservative participants thought that there is more mobility than richer and liberal participants.
We are a nation of haves and soon-to-haves, of people who have made it and people who will make it. We may not want to believe it, but the United States is now the most unequal of all Western nations. To make matters worse, America has considerably less social mobility than Canada and Europe. By overemphasizing individual mobility, we ignore important social determinants of success like family inheritance, social connections, and structural discrimination.
Our unique brand of optimism prevents us from making any real changes. And have you read a recent peer-reviewed paper that you would like to write about? Please send suggestions to Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook. Gareth, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, is the series editor of Best American Infographics and can be reached at garethideas AT gmail.
He primarily studies social norms around technology, health, and illness. Follow Nick on Twitter fitznich Advertisement.Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think.
The Walton family, for example, has more wealth than 42% of American families combined. We don’t want to live like this.
In our ideal. Sep 12, · Income Inequality Over Time: How Choice of a Metric Matters This paper uses one-year estimates from the American Community Survey - to explore how household income inequality has changed over time.
Dec 22, · Inequality in America is getting worse. The gap between the "haves" and "have nots" is widening, according to the latest data out this week.
The rich . The fortunes of people like Bezos and those made on Wall Street, in Hollywood and Silicon Valley fuel much of wealth inequality in the U.S., but the issue affects most of the country, the report.
This shift is about lessening global income inequality. The richest 1 percent of the world's population has 40 percent of its wealth. The richest 1 percent of the world's population has 40 percent of its wealth. The article "America's Financial Divide" added context to racial wealth inequality stating " nearly percent of the million households in the top one percent by income were white, a total of about 1,, households.
In addition, these families were found to have a .