The world's most famous inequality researchers unveiled a new way of adding up the growing gap between the super-rich and everyone else on Tuesday.
The findings by economists Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman and Thomas Piketty, which are preliminary, were hotly anticipated ever since the American Economic Association conference posted a one-paragraph summary of their results ahead of the event in San Francisco. "In contrast to survey and individual tax data, we find substantial increase in average real pre-tax incomes for the bottom 90% since the 1970s," one line in the preview said, potentially suggesting that concerns about a stagnant middle had been overblown.
Conservatives say this proves they were right about inequality. But it doesn't.