The Bottom Line: There has always been status disparity, but not wealth disparity. We are evolved to both abhor perceived inequity and strive to do better than those around us.
Poverty: Wide Boundary Style
“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.” - Gaylord Nelson
Summary: The Occupy Wall Street movement was about the “99%” fighting for more equality. The people demonstrating in those movements were pointing out (correctly) a stark fact shown in
the previous section – that wealth and income inequality has risen to very high levels in the United States – too many people are getting too small a share of the total pie. Your authors do not dispute this, and being human, feel these same emotions as well. But then there is the issue of boundaries. The top 5% of Americans by wealth are graphically represented by the red triangle in the above graphic. The
yellow represents the bottom 95% of Americans by income (or wealth) – they – especially the bottom 80% or so - definitely feel the stress of being relatively poor. What they don’t see, however , is that their vantage point is from a relatively rich nation. The
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