Implications of America's New Gilded Age

Guest Host:

Tom Gjelten
Implications of America's New Gilded Age

For the first time in a century, the top 10 percent of earners took in more than half of the country's total income. Guest host Tom Gjelten and his guests discuss how America's growing wealth inequality affects our society, politics and economy.

Five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the U.S. economy is emerging from the “Great Recession.” Home sales are rebounding and the auto industry is surging, while banks are showing healthier balance sheets and credit is easing. But according to a new study, not everyone is enjoying the same level of improvement. The top 1 percent of American wages are close to full recovery while the bottom 99 percent have barely begun to recover. In fact, the top 10 percent of U.S. earners took in more than half the country’s total income last year, the first time that has happened in a century. Guest host Tom Gjelten and his guests examine what this income gap means for the American economy, society and political system.


Stephanie Coontz

director of research and public education, Council on Contemporary Families and professor of family history, The Evergreen State College; author of "A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s"

Dante Chinni

columnist, The Wall Street Journal and director, American Communities Project at American University

Thomas Edsall

professor of journalism, Columbia University and columnist, The New York Times; author of "The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics"

Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct and Terms of Use before posting your comments.

Our address has changed!

The Diane Rehm Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.