Jordan Weissmann: U.S. Income Inequality: It's Worse Today Than It Was in 1774





Jordan Weissmann is an associate editor at The Atlantic. He has written for a number of publications, including The Washington Post and The National Law Journal.

Here's a finding that would have made for great occupy sign last year: American income inequality may be more severe today than it was way back in 1774 -- even if you factor in slavery.

That stat's not actually as crazy (or demoralizing) as it sounds, but it might upend some of the old wisdom about our country's economic heritage. The conclusion comes to us from an newly updated study by professors Peter Lindert of the University of California - Davis and Jeffrey Williamson of Harvard. Scraping together data from an array of historical resources, the duo have written a fascinating exploration of early American incomes, arguing that, on the eve of the Revolutionary War, wealth was distributed more evenly across the 13 colonies than anywhere else in the world that we have record of. 

Suffice to say, times have changed....




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