"The share of pretax income going to the top 1 percent of American households rose by 7 percentage points from 1979 to 2007, to 16 percent, while the share of income going to the bottom 80 percent fell by 7 percentage points. As David Leonhardt put it in the New York Times: "It's as if every household in the bottom 80 percent is writing a check for $7,000. every year and sending it to the top 1 percent."
"But in reality Americans are less likely to move upward from their class of origin that are Germans, Canadians, Finns, French people, Swedes, Norwegians, and Danes."
from "Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America," by Barbara Ehrenreich