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Great Gatsby Curve

Great Gatsby Curve
The graph above is called the Great Gatsby Curve. Along the x axis, it measures economic inequality. Note that the USA is the furthest right of the developed countries shown. It has the most wealth disparity. Along the y axis, it measures social stratification, i.e. how tilted the economic playing field is, in other words, to what degree does a talented, hard working poor person have no chance of becoming rich. Note the USA is at the top because there economic opportunity is only for the rich. Most Americans are under the delusion their country has an unusually level playing field, where anyone who works hard can make his fortune. That was true decades ago, but no longer. The wealthy are now a closed, exclusive club. In 2007, the top 20% owned 85% of the wealth and the top 1% owned 36%. It is even more skewed now. If you don’t inherit a fortune, your odds of making one are much better in any country but the USA. The graph also shows that wealth inequality and a tilted playing field are inextricably linked. Tilted playing fields are how the rich become super rich. You can’t have one without the other.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
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Light-Coloured Roofs

Switching to light-coloured roofs and roadways would have the equivalent effect on greenhouse gas emissions to taking one billion cars off the road for eleven years.

~ Dr. Steven Chu (1948-02-28 age:69) US Secretary of Energy, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics 1997
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