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The jobs market is humming these days, but income inequality continues to grow. Torsten Slok, Chief International Economist with Deustche Bank Securities, sent the following chart to clients on Tuesday, drawn on the most recent work by inequality researchers Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman. Pikkety is the author of the much-discussed 2014 book, Capital in the 21st Century.

Why it matters: The yawning gap between U.S. haves and have nots is only growing more severe, and there are no signs that the trend will slow on its own. These are the numbers Bernie Sanders studied before wagering that the Democratic Party's path to electoral success is through aggressive economic populism.

Expand chart
Data: Deutsche Bank Research; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The future of work will make this worse: Some economists argue that rising income inequality can be blamed on an unprecedented, rapid decline in the price of automation technology since the early 1980s. As machines become cheaper, the argument goes, business owners can simply replace workers with capital investments and reap more profits for themselves.

If this theory is correct, we should expect income inequality to rise ever-more quickly, as applications for artificial intelligence increase and the amount of computing power per dollar available rises exponentially.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
7 hours ago - World

Putin to demand legal guarantee against NATO expansion in call with Biden

Biden and Putin meeting in Geneva in June. Photo: Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding a legally binding guarantee that NATO will not expand east — including to Ukraine — and plans to raise the issue in an upcoming phone call with President Biden, according to the Kremlin.

Why it matters: Russia has massed more than 94,000 troops on the border with Ukraine and could be preparing for a large-scale invasion at the end of January, Ukraine's defense minister said Friday.