The statistical data and research on the economic and social effects of the chasm known as the wealth gap is clear and unequivocal. Widening wealth inequality between the richest and the rest of us is damaging the economy, hurting (and sometimes killing) the poor, destroying opportunities for social mobility and causing a breakdown in social cohesion. The gap is now comparable to the one that presaged the Great Depression at the end of the 1920’s. It has reached robber baron era proportions and because, as Thomas Piketty has established, most of the wealth accretion is based on returns on ‘idle’ capital and not earned income or wealth creation / entrepreneurial investment the opportunity cost for the global and our national economies is huge.
Unsurprisingly, most research into wealth inequality has focussed on the gap between rich and poor and that is a subject that this blog has covered repeatedly in its short existence and will return to again in the very near future. However, new research suggests that there is another distinct group of ‘victims’ of widening inequality, one that has been, in their own eyes at least, roundly ignored – the lowly millionaires. You see, the gap between millionaires in the top 1% and the multi-millionaires and billionaires who occupy the top 0.01% has also widened materially and no one seemed to notice or care, that is, until now…
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