Reuters - America has a higher degree of income inequality than almost any other developed country. Only three of the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development rank higher - Chile, Mexico and Turkey.
The U.S. Congressional Research Service cited several potential reasons in a report earlier this year.
One is that most other rich countries spend a bigger share of their national output on social programs, which tend to lessen income inequality. In Germany, public social spending accounted for 27.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2009, compared with 19.2 percent in the United States, according to the OECD.
A second factor is tax systems. A 2012 study by economists at the OECD found that, in general, the more a country spends on social programs, and the more progressive its tax-and-transfer system is, the more it can reduce income inequality. The U.S. is less effective at reducing inequality through taxes and benefits than the OECD average; German policies have cut inequality more than the average.