The Social Consequences of Economic Inequality

Jeffrey S. Victor

In my opinion, economic inequality is the second greatest danger that Americans will face in the near future. The first is climate warming. And, like climate warming, the consequences of economic inequality creep up on us slowly, until it is too late to change. The danger is the fact that great wealth translates into the power to corrupt democracy.

Most Americans are living on illusions based upon the history of America in the 1950s. Most Americans vastly underestimate the amount of economic inequality in our country. We Americans mistakenly believe that the United States has a greater percentage of people who experience upward economic mobility in their lifetime than any other country, according to Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.

The following are some of the sad realities.

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