America Has Worse Inequality Than That Portrayed in 'Downton Abbey'


Tue, Feb 25th, 2014 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

On Market Watch, Brett Arends reports on research by Peter Lindert, economics professor at the University of California in Davis, who notes that “'Britain’s Downton Abbey economy of the 1920s,' [...] was slightly 'less unequal than… the U.S. today' (emphasis added).”

U.S. fans of the hit British TV series, whose latest season ended last night, may think they are looking through a window at a lost world of privilege and poverty, aristocrats and servants, “upstairs” and “down.”

But they should think again. A research paper to be presented this week at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a leading think tank, will confirm that the U.S. today has become as unequal as the England of the Earl of Grantham, Lady Mary, Daisy the kitchen maid and Carson the butler a hundred years ago.

The richest take home a higher share of national income in America today than did the aristocrats and superrich of 1920s England. The poor today take home a smaller share than the butlers, chauffeurs and other working folk did back then.



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