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Alarming Statistic of the Day

September 27, 2010

Via Chait, James Fallows describes the findings of a forthcoming paper by Michael Norton of Harvard Business School and Daniel Ariely of Duke:

…the top 20% of the US wealth distribution actually controls nearly 85% of total wealth; people think the top 20% controls under 60%; and they think it should control just over 30%. Similarly: people feel that the bottom 20% of the economic pyramid “should” have about 10% of the total pie; they think it actually has about 3% or 4%; in fact, its share appears to be too small to show up on the chart.

They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. So here goes: My name is Innocent Smith and I live in an oligarchy.

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