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The Haves and the Have-Nots by Branko Milanovic

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CHAPTER 1
ESSAY I
Unequal People
Inequality Among Individuals Within a Nation
Until about the turn of the twentieth century, income inequality among individuals was subsumed under the topic of the functional distribution of national income—that is, how total income was split between large social classes (workers and capitalists).1 It was considered by many to be the key topic in political economy. Society, under early capitalism of the nineteenth century, seemed normally to divide into several quite distinct social classes: workers, who were selling labor and earning wages, and were relatively poor; capitalists, who owned capital and were earning profits, and were relatively rich; and landlords, who owned land and received rents, and were also ...

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