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Updated by Simona Combi on Jan 29, 2015
Simona Combi Simona Combi
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Economic insecurity

Watch economic insecurity spread like a virus over a quarter-century

Ask experts to identify broad, defining economic trends of the past few decades, and you're likely to hear one come up often: widening inequality. Just this week, we wrote about how income inequality continues to grow through the modest recovery, extending a decades-long trend. And one consequence of that widening inequality is growing economic insecurity.

40 Years Of Income Inequality In America, In Graphs

Here's the story of income inequality in America over the past 40 years. Hover over each line to identify household income and click through to zoom see the percentage growth over the last 40 years. The graph reveals a striking pattern. After adjusting for inflation, income was basically flat for households in the bottom half of the economic ladder.

Among the Poor, Women Feel Inequality More Deeply

The attention paid to income and wealth inequality spurred by the French economist Thomas Piketty's best-selling opus, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," comes with a caveat from some of its fans: What about women? The question may seem odd given that when it comes to wages, women have made far more progress than men over the past three decades.

An hereditary meritocracy
"MY BIG fear," says Paul Ryan, an influential Republican congressman from Wisconsin, is that America is losing sight of the notion that "the condition of your birth does not determine the outcome of your life." "Opportunity," according to Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, "is slipping away."