The rise in U.S. income inequality in recent decades is largely due to massive wealth accumulating at the top of the income scale. The press and popular culture treat this phenomenon almost as if natural forces were guiding it -- an invisible hand dealing out different shares to different people.
But the hands doing the dealing are in fact quite visible. They belong to the directors of the boards of the major companies in the U.S. and around the globe. One key source of wealth at the very top is the pay of the executives of our largest companies. That pay is approved by corporate directors, who are themselves paid for their service. Many of those directors are also executives at other companies, meaning they sit on both sides of the arrangement.