The ability of the 1 percent to buy politicians and regulators is nothing new in American politics - just as inequality has been a permanent part of our economic system. This is true of virtually all political and economic systems.
American journalists tend to treat inequality as a fact of life. But it needn't be.
Half the U.S. population owns barely 2 percent of its wealth, putting the United States near Rwanda and Uganda and below such nations as pre-Arab Spring Tunisia and Egypt when measured by degrees of income inequality.
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