Income Inequality at an all-time high
Interesting commentary at Huffington Post this morning -
Income inequality in the United States is at an all-time high, surpassing even levels seen during the Great Depression, according to a recently updated paper by University of California, Berkeley Professor Emmanuel Saez. The paper, which covers data through 2007, points to a staggering, unprecedented disparity in American incomes. On his blog, Nobel prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called the numbers "truly amazing."
Though income inequality has been growing for some time, the paper paints a stark, disturbing portrait of wealth distribution in America. Saez calculates that in 2007 the top .01 percent of American earners took home 6 percent of total U.S. wages, a figure that has nearly doubled since 2000.
As of 2007, the top decile of American earners, Saez writes, pulled in 49.7 percent of total wages, a level that's "higher than any other year since 1917 and even surpasses 1928, the peak of stock market bubble in the 'roaring" 1920s.'"
Beginning in the economic expansion of the early 1990s, Saez argues, the economy began to favor the top tiers American earners, but much of the country missed was left behind. "The top 1 percent incomes captured half of the overall economic growth over the period 1993-2007," Saes writes...
Source for graphic: http://www.mybudget360.com/top-1-per...f-mega-wealth/
"a lost decade for U.S. economy"
Aughts were a lost decade for U.S. economy, workers
By Neil Irwin
Saturday, January 2, 2010
There has been zero net job creation since December 1999. No previous decade going back to the 1940s had job growth of less than 20 percent. Economic output rose at its slowest rate of any decade since the 1930s as well.
Middle-income households made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 -- and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009. The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s.
...the net worth of American households -- the value of their houses, retirement funds and other assets minus debts -- has also declined when adjusted for inflation, compared with sharp gains in every previous decade since data were initially collected in the 1950s
"This was the first business cycle where a working-age household ended up worse at the end of it than the beginning, and this in spite of substantial growth in productivity, which should have been able to improve everyone's well-being,"
I saw it on Huffington Post (think I sourced that)
but I guess everyone is writing about it today. Sad that it only got 44 recs. I'll give it another.