(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Some rich guys new toy:
A 225 foot
Over the past 4 decades, and accelerating since 2008, the top 1% has gained an ever larger share of the wealth.
Saez and French economist Thomas Piketty have been generating steady academic, governmental and public attention after reporting (in 2008) that from 2002 to 2007, the top 1 percent of American households accounted for about two-thirds of all income gains.
In a 2010 paper titled “Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States,” Saez provided 2007 to 2008 updates on the above-mentioned figures. The winner of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 2010, Saez found that the average real income for the top percentile fell 19.7 percent (resulting in a drop in the top percentile income share from 23.5 to 20.9 percent), average real income for the bottom 99 percent also fell sharply, by 6.9 percent. For that 99 percent, the drop was, by far, the greatest year-to-year decline since the Great Depression.
Q: What are the key causes for the substantial income gaps in the United States today? What role does the size of the federal deficit play, if any?
A: New technologies and globalization cannot explain the dramatic increase in the U.S. income gaps because countries in continental Europe (such as France or Germany) and Japan are going through the same technological and globalization forces, yet are not experiencing such a dramatic increase in income gaps.
This implies that institutions, government policies and regulations, and social norms play a central role in shaping income gaps. To put things simply, the U.S. income gaps shrunk significantly after the Great Depression with the New Deal policies of stringent regulations and progressive taxation and widened significantly after the Reagan revolution that undid those regulations and progressive taxation.
Basically, only the 1% (those making more than around 350,000 a year or more) has benefited. Even those in the 100,000 class have not done well.
But, today, 1 in 6 Americans live below the poverty line–46,000,000 million people. While the top 1% has gone from taking 9% of all the wealth in 1976, to 24% of all the wealth today- a greater gap than Nicaragua, Venezuela, Guyana.
France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Spain-not to mention some newer nations like Canada and Australia-are all places where your chances of rising from the bottom are better than they are in the land of Horatio Alger’s Ragged Dick.
…from 1980 to 2005, more than 80 percentof total increase in Americans’ income went to the top 1 percent.