An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatalailment of all republics.—Plutarch (c. 46–120 CE)
For more than three decades, the United States has undertaken a dangerous social experiment: How much inequality can a democratic self-governing society handle? How far can we stretch the gap between the super-rich 1 percent and everyone else before something snaps?
We have pulled apart. Over a relatively short period of time, since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, a massive share of global income and wealth has funneled upward into the bank accounts of the richest 1 percent—and, within that group, the richest one-tenth of 1 percent.
This has been not just a U.S. trend but a global tendency, as the ...