Left unstated, of course, is that much of the Founders’ “capital” was in fact in the form of enslaved human beings.
I assume this is an innocent mistake on Mankiw’s part–surely if he realized the implications of what he wrote, he would never have written it–but the fact that he made it at all is telling.
Sure, you could argue that with historical context the Founders weren’t so bad, and maybe that’s true. But we are explicitly talking about wealth distribution as it pertains to democracy in 2015, not 1776. If your example of how wealth inequality and democracy coexisted historically ignores the existence of slavery, perhaps you need to re-think your hypothesis.