The U.S. now employs more private security guards than high school teachers.
In a blog post for the New York Times, Samuel Bowles and Arjun Jayadev say inequality across industrialized nations is always matched by more security guards.
America has seen an unprecedented surge in security, including guards for residential building and gated communities, since 1979.
There are more than one million security guards in the U.S., that’s double the number in 1980.
The total number of guard labor employment, including police officers, armed forces, prison and court guards, civilian employees of the military, and those producing weapons is 5.2 million.
Bowles and Jayadev says that more than teachers on every level.
They charted income inequality, defined by payment of taxes and receipt of government transfers like Social Security, and found the more unequal the more guard labor.
The more economic opportunity in a country, e.g. Denmark, where the income of the father is not a good predictor of the income of his adult son, the less guard labor.
In American, Britain, and Italy, where a father’s income does predict the income of his son, guard labor is particularly high.