News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Great Feudal Estate of America: How the USA got that way

INCOME LEVEL NUMBER OF PEOPLE AVERAGE INCOME OVERALL CHANGE 1970-2008
Top 0.1% 152,000 $5.6 million +385%
Top 0.1-0.5% 610,000 $878,139 +141%
Top 0.5-1% 762,000 $443,102 +90%
Top 1-5% 6.0 million $211,476 +59%
Top 5-10% 7.6 million $127,184 +38%
Bottom 90% 137.2 million $31,244 -1%
SOURCES: The World Top Incomes Database and reports by Jon Bakija, Williams College; Adam Cole, U.S. Department of Treasury; Bradley T. Heim, Indiana University; Carola Frydman, MIT Sloan School of Management and NBER; Raven E. Molloy, Federal Reserve Board of Governors; Thomas Piketty, Ehess, Paris; Emmanuel Saez, UC Berkeley and NBER. GRAPHIC: Alicia Parlapiano - The Washington Post. Published June 18, 2011.


 Congress debates matters such as the national debt, healthcare and welfare, the possession of various sets of genitalia and what it wants people to do with them,  but the real matter affecting the welfare of the people and the decline of the republic is dismissed for the most part.  Today the Washington Post made the matter its lead story.

It's the old more-for-the-greedy; less-for-the-needy routine, but with studies that show just who the  greedy are:

For years, statistics have depicted growing income disparity in the United States, and it has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression. In 2008, the last year for which data are available, for example, the top 0.1 percent of earners took in more than 10 percent of the personal income in the United States, including capital gains, and the top 1 percent took in more than 20 percent. But economists had little idea who these people were. How many were Wall street financiers? Sports stars? Entrepreneurs? Economists could only speculate, and debates over what is fair stalled.
Now a mounting body of economic research indicates that the rise in pay for company executives is a critical feature in the widening income gap.
It also gives more precise motivation behind the anti-worker measures in states such as Wisconsin and what economic principles are behind those measures.
  
We keep pointing out that the matters of our economy, our national debt, our foreign policies, and the future of our nation are taken up in the national discussion in ways that lay a fog over what the real sources of our problems are.  The change will not come through our current political system; it will come only through a new revolution, and political scientists and commentators are loath to even speculate where revolution will take us this time.


Read the statistics that describe the whole situation. 

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