• The second reason why we haven't observed the growing gap is that our historical and social science analyses have concentrated on what has been happening within the 'middle classes' - that is, to that ten to fifteen percent of the population of the world-economy who consumed more surplus than they themselves produced. Within this sector there really has been a relatively dramatic flattening of the curve between the very top (less than one percent of the total population) and the truly 'middle' segments, or cadres (the rest of the ten to fifteen percent).