The rich are oblivious to their privilege there consumer habits drive up cost for the middle class and the poor are subsidized by the government raising cost for the middle class. You can live more comfortably making 25,000 a year than you can making 30,000 as an individual. Although if you look at it from a historical perspective the last 50 years has had the least income disparity since money became a concept. So in that sense yes but not in recent times.
No, the gap between the 99% and the 1% is not beginning to close. Wealthy individuals and huge corporations will continue to make decisions that benefit them. They are protected by the government and have become nearly invincible. Sadly, I do not think that this gap will ever decrease or close.
Economic inequality is the worst it has ever been. The richest one percent have overwhelming wealth and power and they use it to preserve this disastrous economic system that works for so few people. Say what you will about Carnegie or Morgan, but at least they provided the country with libraries. Today's plutocrats believe they owe this country nothing.
No, the gap between the 99% and the 1% is not anywhere near beginning to close in my opinion. The richest people in the world would never allow for that to happen. They are the people that operate in the shadows, pulling strings that make the world go around. I doubt that the gap will be closed between the 99% and the 1% any time in the near future unless we take apart the whole system and put it back together one piece at a time.
There is 98% between those two numbers, therefore I feel l that even if those were to begin to close, there is no way that they will ever be equal. That is a gap that will never be close and because of the extremes of both sides, it makes sense that is never will.