Friday, October 28, 2011

Occupy Wall Street is right about nation’s skewed economic rewards

The Occupy Wall Street protestors are right in their assessment of how skewed the nation’s economic rewards have become.
In Occupy Wall Streeters are right about skewed economic rewards in the United States, EPI president Lawrence Mishel and economist Josh Bivens present 12 charts—detailing trends in income, wages, capital income and  wealth—that highlight the economic inequality that developed between 1979 and 2007, pre-dating the recession.
The paper’s findings include the following:
Between 1979 and 2007, the incomes of the top 0.1% of households grew 390% and incomes of the top 1% grew 224%, while incomes of the bottom 90% saw gains over that whole period of just 5%.
Between 1979 and 2006, the annual wages of the top 0.1% grew 324% and those of the top 1% grew 144%, while the bottom 90% saw gains over that whole period of just 15%. 
The ratio of the wealth held by the wealthiest 1% of households to the wealth held by the median household was 225-to-1 in 2009, up from 131-to-1 in 1983.
This week’s Economic Snapshot further illustrates the sobering fact that the top 1 percent captured almost 60 percent of all income gains between 1979 and 2007 while the bottom 90 percent of income-earning households captured less than 9 percent of all income gains over this same period.
EPI’s data and analysis of the nation’s startling income growth disparity between the highest earners and the vast majority of working Americans has been cited by multiple major media outlets, including the New Yorker, MSNBC,and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. 

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