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Thomas Piketty attributes rising inequality in the U.S. primarily to huge increases in the salaries of CEOs and other top executives, but he misinterprets the evidence. Rising salaries of top executives actually explain very little of the rise in inequality, and they depressed other employees’ pay by only a negligible amount.

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An article by author and economist Jeff Madrick in the November issue of Harper’s Magazine offers an antidote to the view that social spending -- not anemic tax revenues -- is the cause of America's deficit problem, and argues that such policies are adopted only out of "political deference to the rich and powerful."

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