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Inequality in NYC - Transience Divine
August 19th, 2012
07:06 pm

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Inequality in NYC
My Friday book is Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, and I'm currently reading about the start of the republic. It was also the start of laissez-faire capitalism (craftsmen and bakers had it particularly hard), and the recognition of the inequality that comes with it.

The book gave a few numbers (below) for inequality in the first 12 years of the republic. This represent portions of wealth in NYC, not income (the poor proxy normally given). I looked up a report of recent net worth, and the inequality is now far worse.

Bottom HalfTop 20%Top 2%
17897%75%25%
18005%80%
1999.3%>86%

How did half the people come to own so little?

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