The gap between the richest and poorest Americans is at historic highs, with estimates suggesting that the top 1% of Americans hold nearly 50% of the wealth, topping even the distance before the Great Depression in the 1920s.

Whether this spread is politically acceptable lies behind many debates, particularly when it comes to estate taxes. Dan Ariely, a behavioral finance expert at Duke University and Michael Norton at Harvard Business School asked the question: Do Americans know what the gap is and is it what they want? 

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