Americans’ frustration with economic inequality is understandable.

According to the CIA’s own rankings, the US is a more unequal society than either Tunisia or Egypt. The 400 wealthiest Americans have a greater combined net worth than the bottom 150 million Americans; the top 1% are richer than the bottom 90% and in the Bush expansion of 2002-2007, 65% of economic gains went to the richest 1%.

Of the 100 highest paid CEOs, 25 take home more than their firm pays in income tax. Economists used to believe that the US had to put up with high inequality as the price of robust growth. But a recent study of 65 industrial nations shows this isn’t true: more unequal ones experience slower growth and individual countries grow faster when incomes are more equal.

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