Biggie Size the Plutocrats While the Circus Plays On

Richard (Rick) Mills
Ahead of the Herd

Page 1 of 2

 

As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information

 

 

 

 

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston says the incomes of the bottom 90 percent of Americans, after being adjusted for inflation, grew on average by only $59 between 1966 and 2011, over the same period the average income of the top 10 percent of Americans grew by $116,071.

 

A 2011 study from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported incomes for the bottom fifth of Americans grew 20 percent between 1979 and 2007. Members of the top one percent saw their incomes grow by 275 percent during the same period.

 

The U.S. top one percent of income earners accounted for 17 per cent of national income in 2010 - the top one percent in Canada took in 10.6 per cent of national income in 2010.

 

In the U.S. the average income of someone in the top 10 percent of income earned was 15.9 times greater than the average income of someone in the bottom 10 per cent of the income distribution – the Canadian ratio is 8.9 percent.

 

Income inequality figures would be much worse except that:

  • Women moved into the workforce, most households have two incomes
  • We’re working 500 hours a year more than in 1979
  • Households drew down savings and borrowed against the equity in their homes to maintain living standards

Yet even after all this…

 

U.S. households, on average owe 138 per cent of their after-tax income and even worse off are Canadians, on average Canadians owe 165 per cent of after-tax income.

 “The top 1 percent took more than one-fifth of the income earned by Americans, one of the highest levels on record since 1913, when the government instituted an income tax. The figures underscore that even after the recession the country remains in a new Gilded Age, with income as concentrated as it was in the years that preceded the Depression of the 1930s, if not more so.” Ex-Labor Secretary, Robert B. Reich ‘The Rich Get Richer Through the Recovery’

 


 

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