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Many people would agree that a society in which a chief executive officer earns not five or 10 but 100 times as much as the average full-time worker is not a fair society. The Cost of Inequality argues that this kind of inequality also has an impact on economic growth. The deregulation of the financial sector has had knock-on consequences for our economy. Why invest in an industry with steady but slow- growing returns when there is a quick buck to make in finance? While in the post-war period the gains from productivity growth were equally shared between wages and profits, from the early 1980s almost all the gains were captured as profits. The result? On the one hand, huge flows of cash into the pockets of the rich; and on the other hand there is a reduced incentive to invest in production because of the lack of a market from wage-earners.

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