Friday, August 14, 2009

Income Inequality is at an All Time High

"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."

In the August 14, 2009 article "Robbing us blind, income inequality at all time high" the Philadelphia Progressive Examiner comments:
Left essentially unnoticed because of the healthcare reform debate, continuing uncertainty about jobs and the economy was Emmanuel Saez report, released on August 5, 2009 reveals that we currently have the most extreme income disparity ever including the Gilded Era and just prior to the Great Depression. The paper written by this Berkeley professor covers data up to 2007 because it is using IRS numbers and those are essentially two years behind.

Paul Krugman on his blog, Conscience of a Liberal called the numbers, " truly amazing." He called this age an even more gilded age on 8-13-09.

Emanuel Saez called his article, Striking it Richer, evolution of the top incomes in the United States. He closes by asking if America is willing to accept income inequality and if not what reforms will be put into place.

Some of the more egregious statistics in this report are the statistics showing the total income captivation of the richest 10 percent of the population. From 1993 to 2007 the total has been 50% of all income leaving the other 90% to split up the other fifty percent. Under Bill Clinton this group captured 45% of the total. Under George Bush from 2002-2007 they have garnered 65% of the total income while the rest of us, the other 90% split up 35%. Still wonder why people can't make their house payments?

The wealthiest 1% of the population garnered 23% of all income in 2007 all by themselves. The wealthiest .01% (about 15,000) families garnered 6% all by themselves. Saez called 2007 a very good year for the rich.

The fact is that income inequality is a fact of life but this is such an unequal distribution that it is part and parcel of why we are facing serious economic issues including the possible bankruptcy of this nation. There is so much money in so few hands that our economy can't function. As a society we need to decide if we are going to have a third world economy just like Argentina where they have the same sort of income inequality. In actuality, all we are doing is reinstating Indentured servitude for MIddle Class America which is how our nation began.

1 comment: