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The one truly continuous trend over the past 25 years has been towards greater concentration of income at the very top. The scale of this shift is not visible from most popular measures of income or wages, as they do not break the distribution down finely enough. But several recent studies have dissected tax records to investigate what goes on at the very top.

The world's most impressive economic machine needs a little adjusting

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It is time to look rationally at the idea of resuming whaling

The exact size of that gap depends on how you measure it. Look at wages, the main source of income for most people, and you understate the importance of health care and other benefits. Look at household income and you need to take into account that the typical household has fallen in size in recent decades, thanks to the growth in single-parent families. Look at statistics on spending and you find that the gaps between top and bottom have widened less than for income. But every measure shows that, over the past quarter century, those at the top have done better than those in the middle, who in turn have outpaced those at the bottom. The gains of productivity growth have become increasingly skewed.

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The conventional tale is that the changes of the past few years are simply more steps along paths that began to diverge for rich and poor in the Reagan era. During the 1950s and 1960s, the halcyon days for America's middle class, productivity boomed and its benefits were broadly shared. The gap between the lowest and highest earners narrowed. After the 1973 oil shocks, productivity growth suddenly slowed. A few years later, at the start of the 1980s, the gap between rich and poor began to widen.

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A sad case of post-prime-ministerial syndrome

Works Cited
Harford, T. “The Undercover Economist: Exposing why the Rich, the Poor are poor—and why you can never buy a Decent Used Car! United Kingdom, UK; 2006. Print.
Duflo E. Banerjee, A. V. Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty. New York, NY: Public Affairs, 2011. Print.

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For the most talented and skilled, technology has increased the potential market and thus their productivity. Top entertainers or sportsmen, for instance, now perform for a global audience. Some economists believe that technology also explains the soaring pay of chief executives. One argument is that information technology has made top managers more mobile, since it no longer takes years to master the intricacies of any one industry. As a result, the market for chief executives is bigger and their pay is bid up. Global firms plainly do compete globally for talent: Alcoa's boss is a Brazilian, Sony's chief executive is American (and Welsh).

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As teens mature and become adults, there are a number of ways to stem the tide of the erosion of middle class jobs and moreover ensure oneself of being economically stable. College plays an incredibly important role in providing economic advantages; high school students who attend college and receive a degree typically make about twenty-eight thousand dollars more than individuals with solely a high school education. Additionally, high school students can promote change within the economic system by voting for political candidates. Political candidates who support the middle class can drastically transform fiscal policy to support persons of the middle class. Getting involved in organizations that focus on furthering prosperity in Middle America is another way teenagers reaching the threshold of adulthood can ensure that they are making sure the gap between classes does not continue to grow.

An emotional debate about those untouched by the economic recovery

But the president should survive

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