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The Toll of Rising Inequality

ONE OF MY earliest memories is of my grandfather extolling the virtues of America. The youngest in an immigrant family and a successful self-made businessman, he often said that one of the great things about this country was that everyone used the same products. His favorite example was the Gillette razor. In those days, it provided the best shave available, and almost anyone could afford it. Rich or poor, banker or janitor, when it came to a shave, Gillette was your brand.

This was in the mid-1950s. Today, Gillette still makes popular razors. But now there also are far more expensive razors geared toward the rich. One popular model, made by Feather, costs nearly $200. The last time I checked, it was rated 4½ ...

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