More than 150 years later Crum’s delicacy has gone on to even greater fame; today, Americans consume about 1.5 billion pounds of potato chips every year.
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That’s the oft-repeated story about the invention of the potato chip. It’s a good one, an origin story that crosses cultural and economic boundaries for a snack food that does the same. Except for one small thing: That’s not what happened.
The data show a surprising pattern: The more unequal a society, the less likely its citizens are to notice. Paradoxically, citizens in some of the most unequal countries think theirs is the paragon of meritocracy.