Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) was an Italian economist who did significant work on income distribution and individual choices. He demonstrated that in most economies a handful of the population, 20 percent of the population, seems to have as much as the other 80% of the population. (Actually the percentages have worsened, in the USA one percent of the population own as much as the rest of the population; CEOs of America’s top corporations make as much as all their other employees lumped together. In modern societies, wealth is concentrated in a few hands.)
Basically, what Pareto contributed to economic discourse is that there exists an iron law of income inequality.
Pareto seems to suggest that this pattern of income distribution is mathematical and built into society hence there is very little that we can do about it. In the past we had slave societies where the many toiled for the few, then we had feudal societies where the many toiled for few aristocrats, and now we have many wage slaves toiling while a handful of economic princes (the owners of Capital and their hired top managers) live in luxury. And revolution does not seem a solution for this problem, for all that revolution does is replacing one set of lords with another.
Vilfredo Pareto. The Mind and Society. (1935).