… is from page 325 of the 2016 second edition of Thomas Sowell’s excellent volume Wealth, Poverty and Politics (footnote deleted; original emphases):
There is, however, a fundamental difference between a fixed structure and a fluid process. [Thomas] Piketty glosses over the process in which people’s incomes change very substantially over the course of their lives – or even in the course of just one decade. More than half of all taxpayers moved to a different income quintile between 1996 and 2005, and the same was true in the preceding decade. Piketty’s crucial misstep has the effect of verbally converting a fluid process over time into a rigid structure, with a more or less permanent top one percent living isolated from the rest of society that is supposedly subject to their influence. It is a vision divorced from demonstrable facts, however consonant it may be with prevailing preconceptions.