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Income inequality "is the biggest powder keg in America right now"

Reproduced from CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

The gap between those at the top and everyone else in the U.S. grew last year to its highest level in more than 50 years, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released Thursday.

Why it matters: The issue is beginning to generate greater concern among Americans, data shows, and could become a more prominent issue for politicians as well as companies.

  • "The gap between the haves and have-nots is the biggest powder keg in America right now and that’s saying something," John Dick, founder and CEO of CivicScience, said in a note.
  • "Even as consumer confidence remains high, concerns over income inequality reached the highest point we’ve seen this month. But that’s a little misleading because the term 'income inequality' evokes a tribal response," Dick said.
  • "When we asked whether CEOs and company execs are unfairly overpaid relative to workers, 78% of people said yes, 11% say no."

Go deeper: U.S. income inequality surges to highest level in 50 years