There are a few versions of this out there but I caught a bit of this on a radio show (The Ed Schultz Show) when Mike Papantonio brought this up. Essentially, the coefficient is a predictor of social unrest/civil war. When the number is higher than .40 it says that there is trouble afoot. Some further explanation is in order:
Global GINI Coefficient
The part of the discussion that brought me up short (in part because I have been feeling it) is what the number is for the U.S. and what that portentds for us.
Here is the break down by state for the U.S. and then ponder where you are. There is not a single state where this is not a problem. The combined figure for us is .47 and that just breaks the public political discussion into bits and pieces.
The U.S. State Breakdown.
Pondering this will take up considerable time for me in the next week or so.