(...) As one economist put it: "If we made an income pyramid out of a child's buiding blocks, with each layer portraying $1000 of income, the very richest would be far higher than the Eiffel tour, but almost all of us would be within a yard off the ground."
(...) If we construct an income pyramid of children's building blocks with each layer of blocks representing $1000, the peak of the pyramid (the highest incomes) would be higher than the Eiffel Tower; most people would be less than six feet from the ground.
(...) In 1948 Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson had attempted to illustrate the extent of inequality in his popular economics textbook with the following example:
“If we made . . . an income pyramid out of a child’s play blocks with each layer portraying $1,000 of income, the peak would be far higher than the Eiffel Tower, but almost all of us would be within a yard of the ground.”
By the closing years of the century, Samuelson found that the Eiffel Tower no longer adequately expressed the orders of magnitude involved. He replaced it with Mount Everest.
(...) The well-known economist Paul Samuelson, writing in the first edition of his Introductory Economics textbook in 1948, noted that if we made an income pyramid out of a child's building blocks, with each layer representing a $1,000 of income, the peak would be somewhat higher than the Eiffel Tower but most of us would be within a yard or so of the ground. That was in 1948. By the time of the 2001 edition of Samuelson's textbook, most of us would still be within a yard or so of the ground, but the Eiffel Tower would now have to be replaced with Mount Everest in order to represent those at the top of the income distribution.