Differentials

The income and wealth differential (I&W) between Chinese Emperor Qin in 200BC and the farm worker of his time was probably several million to one. The I&W of an English aristocrat and his farm worker of the 18th century was probably of the order of 5,000 to 1 — that of a Victorian industrialist and a steel worker probably about 1,000 to 1 — that of the CEO of a modern major corporation to its lowest employees prior to the 2008 Crisis about 150 to 1.

Since the 2008 Crisis, the I&W has been declining and, without the crisis, would probably now be of the order of about 20 to 1 — roughly what is now the I&W between the head of the civil service and the lowest paid clerk. If another monetary crisis came along then a countrywide I&W of no more than 20 to 1 would have to be imposed by the government to prevent social breakdown.

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