As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, taxes, dependency and the role of government.
While it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? Why does one woman make it to the executive suite, while another man drives a taxi? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?
The nation's poverty rate is as high as it's been in almost two decades. Last year, 1 in 6 Americans was poor — more than 46 million people, including 16 million children.
But on the campaign trail, the issue of poverty has received surprisingly little attention.
When he first ran for president, Barack Obama went to a low-income neighborhood in Washington, D.C., and spoke passionately about hunger and poverty. He repeated Bobby Kennedy's question in 1967: "How can a country like this allow it?"
The income gap is receiving much attention lately as more Americans are isolating themselves around "people like us."
More accurately, they surround themselves with people who earn similar incomes, and it is now fueling a rise in residential segregation. One recent study suggests the income gap might be greater today than even during colonial times – even when you account for slavery.