How is this healthy for a nation? It isn’t. It’s destructive.

We need to fix this or it’ll ruin us.

WASHINGTON — The top 1 percent of earners more than doubled their share of the nation’s income over the last three decades, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday . . .

In this report, the budget office found that from 1979 to 2007, average inflation-adjusted after-tax income grew by 275 percent for the 1 percent of the population with the highest income. For others in the top 20 percent of the population, average real after-tax household income grew by 65 percent.

By contrast, the budget office said, for the poorest fifth of the population, average real after-tax household income rose 18 percent.

And for the three-fifths of people in the middle of the income scale, the growth in such household income was just under 40 percent.

9 responses to “How is this healthy for a nation? It isn’t. It’s destructive.

  1. Destructive is a strong enough word for this situation.

    I however find annoying that this kind of data about income doesn’t include inflation. It doesn’t matter if the poorest got 18% richer if life got 19% more expensive. I suspect the poorest among us got poorer since 1979 but this study release doesn’t tell.


    • In this study, I think they were just measuring ‘share’ of the increases, not so much the value. Because you are right – not just the poorest among us, but pretty much everyone who’s not rich has lost ground since the ’70’s.


  2. So the poor got poorer because the rich took it ? Where’s my pitchfork ?


  3. An ever-growing chasm between rich and poor is never good for a country’s economic health, and it certainly isn’t just.


    • It’s one of the ways that a society committs suicide. And what’s really depressing is that polls show the American people know its’ a real problem but our coprorate Galtian overlords need those campaign contributions, so I don’t expect any real action.

      Our kids and grandkids will have a lot to blame us for.


  4. If I am an Obama Zombie, how can I distract everyone from my hero Obama’s pitiful economic record ? Tough situation, but I am up for it . Let’s see, we need villains. Republicans are good , but we need more.

    Now let me think, who is the classic villain ? Who have we scapegoated in the past? I know, I know, the rich. Of course, why didn’t I think of it before ?

    But how do we go about it ? First we need boots on the ground. Street protesters. The unions can help. We can also always get a lot of idiot college kids. Once we have a street crowd protesting rich people, all kinds of groups like Marxists and Anarchists will join. We need a catchy name. How about Burn down the Banks? Nay, not quite right. Lets call it Occupy Wall Street .

    Now we need our good buddies in the media and blogosphere . We need stories about how the rich have outstripped the middle class over the last few decades. Our research Department will supply the numbers . The middle class has gone backwards , while those rich have gotten richer .

    We don’t have to mention that much of this is the natural sequence of events proceeding in a more competitive World . We won’t explain how since the 1970s , the World has recovered from WW2 and our former enemies Germany and Japan are no longer burnt out husks. That countries like China no longer pursue Marxist economics and are out competing us too. No our people are too stupid to be taught this stuff.


  5. I do think the skewing of the distribution of income is disturbing, but mostly because the middle and poor are barely getting better off in absolute terms. If all boats were rising, there’d be less concern about the rich getting rich. I think a lot of things are driving this, weaker unions and Republican policies haven’t caused it. I don’t think skewing taxes up for the top 20% will help us much. Giant tax cuts for the wealthy aren’t wise either I think. I think the main task is to tailor peoples skills and work habits to a world with more need to shift tasks and learn new skills.


    • bruce, I think an important reason for the inequity is that we’ve enacted policies over hte last 30 years that skewed things toward the top. We can’t say the middle class has to get more skilled to earn more, when the top is getting more wealth not because they’ve gotten more skilloed, but because gov’t legislation has smoothed hte way for them.

      Fed govt policies since Teddy R were targeted to creating a strong and staable middle class, something that was very good for the nation. That’s changed and it’s very bad for us.


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