Here’s Yet Another Reason to Believe in Skyrocketing Income Inequality

Continuing on our theme of the day, here’s the total net worth of the Forbes 400 list of the world’s richest people:

This might actually understate things since it’s a global list, not just an American one. But even at that, the wealth of the world’s richest people has gone up nearly 5x in the past 35 years.

My point in putting up all these charts today isn’t to prove that income inequality has gone up any particular amount. It’s just to show that there are lots of data points which simply aren’t consistent with the notion that income inequality has hardly gone up at all. You can look at the sluggish incomes of the middle class; the rising wealth of the top 1 percent; the skyrocketing wealth of the top 0.01 percent; or any number of other things, and they all point in the direction of income inequality that’s doubled or tripled or more over the past four decades. Given all this, it’s simply not plausible to argue that there’s nothing going on.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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