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Just a couple of thoughts on this string.

I agree with John that data points in articles are often chosen to get the biggest reaction (similar to using absolutes like when John used the phrase "This is always the case...").

However, The Economist used the words "...and a sense that the greedy rich have cheated decent working people of their rightful share of the pie." Illustrating the growing *sentiment*, regardless of actual data. This sentiment could be a result of alarmist reporting or it could be general feelings derived from people unable to "keep up with the Joneses" or it could be an actual decline in the relative quality of life for those at the bottom.

Regardless, of how much you want to doubt the data presented, I think it can be looked at in the sense in which it was intended.

As John points out, in 1979 things weren't exactly spectacular. By 2006 I think it can be agreed that most everyone was pretty happy with things. However, in that time, the benefits derived by the masses (those most responsible for the economic growth) obviously did not keep pace with the financial elite (the relative difference more than tripling from 20 to 77x).

Hence, the "sense that the greedy rich have cheated decent working people of their rightful share of the pie." Which was the point of the article. The Economist isn't actually advocating that we "Get the Rich!" as this weeks cover might have you believe. They are simply reporting on the growing populist sentiment, mainly in the US.
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