income disparity

Super wealthy today are better off than royalty of old

Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism this past weekend dismantled a small piece in the Wall Street Journal which had attempted to show that income disparity in the U.S. is not at an all time record. Back in the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America, compared the compensation of French and American civil servants, with the king and President. What the Journal added was a comparison of the U.S. minimum wage with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein's annual pay and bonus of $69 million in 2007.

But the King was almost certainly the richest and best paid individual in France. He made 8,000 times the most menial civil worker. Our disparity (minimum wage versus Lloyd Blankfein) at a mere 5,000+ isn't quite as bad, right?