In a society that extols its egalitarian tradition and during periodic bouts of national self-delusion even proclaims its essential classlessness, it might be instructive to examine the range of income inequality, as illustrated, for example, by the salaries of top corporate executives. To set these salaries in some perspective, I shall use as bench marks the income of the typical American worker as well as the level of officially defined poverty, so we can compare the average and low figures to the corporate heights.
In 1976, the median income of all full-time blue-collar working males was $12,500 before taxes. In early autumn 1977, production workers with three dependents were taking home $174 a week. Allowing about 25 percent f...
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