The top 1 percent in Russia

I’ve posted many charts about the growing concentration of income and wealth in the United States in the hands of a tiny elite.   Here is a chart illustrating inequality in Russia.

You should take note about what this chart shows and doesn’t show.  The ruling elite in the old Soviet Union didn’t have large incomes, and they didn’t live like American millionaires and billionaires, but they did have special privileges, much like military officers compared to the rank and file or like American corporate executives with huge expense accounts.    They had special stories, special medical care, special schools for their children, etc.

Also, the chart indicates that relative equality isn’t everything.   I don’t think many Americans would have wanted to trade places with the average person in the old Soviet Union.

Here’s a comparison of income inequality in Russia, the USA and France.   it is striking how fast Russian wealth became concentrated in the hands of a tiny minority.

LINK

From oligarchs to Soviets—and back again by David Ruccio for David Ruccio for Real World Economics Review Blog.

 

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