Chart of the Day: The Great Gatsby Curve

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Via Counterparties, I see that the White House has released an animated version of a chart created recently by Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers:

The Great Gatsby Curve illustrates the connection between concentration of wealth in one generation and the ability of those in the next generation to move up the economic ladder compared to their parents….The curve shows that children from poor families are less likely to improve their economic status as adults in countries where income inequality was higher — meaning wealth was concentrated in fewer hands — around the time those children were growing up.

In a nutshell, children of poor families have a hard time moving up in the world in countries with lots of income inequality:

So why does this matter for the United States? The U.S. has had a sharp rise in inequality since the 1980s. In fact, on the eve of the Great Recession, income inequality in the U.S. was as sharp as it had been at any period since the time of “The Great Gatsby.”

I know I’ve declared jihad on animated GIFs, but this one is actually sort of useful. It only takes a minute to unfold, and it demonstrates the problem pretty dramatically. Krueger’s full speech from last year is here.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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