… [T]his study smashes through one of the more sophisticated argument from the right-wing about the issue of income inequality. The dumber sorts on the right tend to just pretend inequality does not exist or they tell some sort of totally irrelevant story about how their great-grandfather was poor before he wasn’t. But some of the smarter sorts have been saying that the inequality statistics do not mean anything because there is a great deal of mobility from year to year. So while it is the case that, in any given year, the income distribution is pretty unequal, folks move up and down that distribution throughout their lifetimes, meaning that inequality in lifetime earnings is much less dispersed.
But we now know with very reliable data that this simply is not true: folks generally live their adult lives at the same spot on that distribution. So our income distribution is simultaneously very unequal and very rigid. With that established, the sophisticated right-wing will have a hard time mounting much of a case about inequality anymore. There is no way to deny that it exists, that it is rigid, and that it generally transmits itself across generations (i.e. very low intergenerational social mobility). So what else is there? All the right seems to have remaining in its arsenal is the argument that such rigid inequality is not relevant to justice anyways. They wont say that of course, even though many believe it.