We hear it all the time, from every corner of the political sphere: There’s no other country on the planet quite like the United States of America. Such pronouncements are typically of the rah-rah variety, and it’s indisputably true that this country is exceptional in a large number of ways.
But that is not always necessarily a good thing. Here’s what we mean:
The U.S. is in the top left corner in the above chart — showing how the country stands out when it comes to income gains by the top 1 percent of earners since 1960. The gains are plotted against changes in marginal income tax rates. The U.S. comes in second (just behind Britain) when it comes to handing these tax breaks out to our highest earners.