Monday, November 15, 2010

Here's Some Reality For You

 The New York Times has an excellent opinion piece today about the implications of the recent election, in particular the benefits the super rich will likely continue to see.

For example, they cite:
  • The top 1 percent of American earners took in 23.5 percent of the nation’s pretax income in 2007 — up from less than 9 percent in 1976. That's right. One percent of our population took in nearly a quarter of all income.
  • The top 1 percent of Americans now have tax rates a third lower than the same top percentile had in 1970.
  • During the boom years of 2002 to 2007, that top 1 percent’s pretax income increased an extraordinary 10 percent every year. Imagine if your income went up 10 percent a year for five half a decade you'd be making 50% more. Wish I had that deal.
  • But the boom proved an exclusive affair: in that same period, the median income for non-elderly American households went down and the poverty rate rose. Oh surprise, the "trickle down" theory that if you give rich people money they will create jobs didn't pan out...again. Nope. Turns out not all boats rise with the tide. Rather, only the really big yachts do.

The point is, with a new Congress-elect starting to talk about extending the very policies that made this situation happen in the first place, can "the country can afford the systemic damage being done by the ever-growing income inequality between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else, whether poor, middle class or even rich"?

No comments: