Dan Ariely reveals some very interesting findings about actual, perceived and preferred wealth distribution. He writes in The Atlantic:
With this in mind, from the total pie of wealth (100%) what percent do you think the bottom 40% (that is, the first two buckets together) of Americans possess? And what about the top 20%? If you guessed around 9% for the bottom and 59% for the top, you’re pretty much in line with the average response we got when we asked this question of thousands of Americans.
The reality is quite different. Based on Wolff (2010), the bottom 40% of the population combined has only 0.3% of wealth while the top 20% possesses 84% (see Figure 2). These differences between levels of wealth in society comprise what’s called the Gini coefficient, which is one way to quantify inequality…
We found that the ideal distribution described by this representative sample of Americans was dramatically more equal than exists anywhere in the world, with 32% of wealth belonging to the wealthiest quintile down to 11% by the poorest.
There are also some lengthy Rawls references.