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Medieval Facts & Myths: The wealth gap peaked under feudalism, right?

Income inequality reached its peak in the feudal era. Everybody knows that, don't they?

Well, that's not what historians and economists tell us.

During the 1300s, the average income of an English earl was £400 per year while the wages of an average laborer were £2. That's 200 times the difference between a high noble and peasant.

How does that compare to our own era?

In 2018, the pay ratio between the average U.S. worker and the average CEO reached 278-to-1. Gadzooks!

However, this U.S. income gap is a recent phenomenon. In 1989, the compensation ratio was 58-to-1. In 1965, it was 20-to-1.

This trend begs a question. How long before we start addressing CEOs as "M'lord"?


Medieval Facts & Myths is a blog series featuring KING ROBIN, a novel by R. A. Moss releasing February 2021 from Beck and Branch Publishers.

Cinematic rights available.

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