Came across this on a link on Timothy Egan's Opinionator piece on the NY Times. It's some interesting graphs on changes in income inequality over the years. I think one of the most important aspects of a society is the degree of challenge its elites face on holding onto their status against those lower down that wish to compete with them. Healthy societies will see a lot of churn as the best and brightest of those born with less advantages manage to beat the rich and powerful at their own game. When this happens less, it's likely to indicate that the powerful have found some way of blocking this churn. Much of what I've been suggesting on this blog are ways to restart these types of challenges and help give those less wealthy the initial push needed to challenge the powerful.
Back to the data. Two slides stand out most to me. The first is the one on upward and downward mobility. While this has always been messy, there definitely seems to have been a downward trend over time. The second interesting slide is that regarding the US and France, which shows that the income gap has not increased to the same degree in other countries. While I'm not sure that France is the point of comparison I'd choose as most relevant, it is worth noting that inequality trends are not an unavoidable fact of life but the results of policy choices.