From the web "Who Rules America," we learn numbers about inequality. Wealth is income less tax. It can accumulate or be inherited. Inequality in wealth is more severe than income.
In 1983 the bottom 80 percent owned 18 percent of the nations total wealth and 8 percent of investment wealth. In 2010 the bottom 80 percent owned 11 percent total wealth and 4.7 percent investment wealth.
Knowing how rich the rich are, the bottom 40 percent own less than 1 percent of the total wealth. That is how poor the poor are.
While progressive income taxes are used to redistribute income, our taxes are not. Far more equality would result from taxing wealth with estate taxes. Recent "dynasty trusts" avoid these taxes completely and allow wealth in perpetuity to heirs.
Money elects and money directs government. Koch brothers own the tea party, for example. Only if "We the People" get out and vote is there any chance for our interests and our democracy to survive.