The Rich Get Richer, Work Harder

Wealth disparities are what's keeping big earners sweating
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 2, 2008 8:06 AM CDT
It's not just BlackBerrys and laptops that are keeping wealthier Americans working hard.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – America’s higher earners are working harder all the time —but it’s not because of PDAs and laptops. It’s because of a fear of being “left behind” as wealth gaps widen among the upper classes, writes Dalton Conley in the New York Times. “Rising inequality causes us to work more to keep up in an economy increasingly dominated by status goods.”

“Since inequality rises exponentially the higher you climb the economic ladder, the better off you are in absolute terms, the more relatively deprived you may feel,” Conley notes. “This is a stunning moment in economic history: At one time we worked hard so that someday we (or our children) wouldn’t have to. Today, the more we earn, the more we work.”