Last week Rachel Maddow several times pointed out how income inequality is leading to political dysfunction as our political system grows more and more unworkable. With the very rich controlling the Republican Party, there is very little motivation to reach compromises, to work on important problems, etc. Rachel had a superb chart showing the increase of wealth inequality matched with political polarization in Congress. The chart lines were stupendously overlapping.
To look at Rachel's interview with Paul Krugman, http://www.commondreams.org/video/2012/05/02-0
To see the graph itself, go to: http://ecolocalizer.com/2012/05/02/maddow-krugman-explain-link-between-w...
Certainly the disparity between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else in this country is a source of huge mischief, with huge incomes leading to rigging the system, to protecting those incomes and concentrations of wealth, etc. Like a massive hidden black hole, concentrations of wealth warp nearby environments, with favorable tax advantages, adulation from the many, etc. Also, politicians can be controlled, as can be seen by this current crop of politicians--especially Republican politicians.
Thom Hartmann has for a very long time pointed out the dangers of the kind of wealth inequality we have now and he is absolutely correct!
Anyway, take a look at the Rachel and Paul Krugman material if you have not done so already. She is absolutely dead on right about this and has the charts to prove it.