Distributing Income and Wealth
Among the new objects that attracted my attention during my stay in the United States, none struck me with greater force than the equality of conditions. I easily perceived the enormous influence that this primary fact exercises on the workings of the society.
ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE (1835)1
In 1897 two tremendously influential artists were born in the American South. One lived a life of poverty, died in his forties among the ashes of his burned-down house, and remained anonymous until years after his death. The other lived into his mid-sixties, garnered international fame, and accumulated plenty of money and prestigious awards.
If you have a name like Blind Willie ...