Friday, August 14, 2009

The Gap

So a new report out of University of California shows that in 2007, economic inequality in the United States hit and all time high.

As of 2007, the top decile of American earners, Saez writes, pulled in 49.7 percent of total wages, a level that’s “higher than any other year since 1917 and even surpasses 1928, the peak of stock market bubble in the ‘roaring” 1920s.‘”

Beginning in the economic expansion of the early 1990s, Saez argues, the economy began to favor the top tiers American earners, but much of the country missed was left behind. “The top 1 percent incomes captured half of the overall economic growth over the period 1993-2007,” Saes writes.

I'm not surprised. I knew that the CEO to employee pay gap had shot up from about 40-1 in the 1970's to near 600-1 in the last few years. But to know that such a small portion of people own half of the countries money makes me a little sick inside. A recent paper by Will Wilkinson made the case that inequality really doesn't matter, and his arguments have more holes than a tennis net. The New Republic did a good job of calling him out.

Here's pretty good visual of what we're talking about

I'm not a Marxist, I don't believe you can ever have a classless society, but I also think there can be a balance, and that capitalism can be run a lot more responsibly than this.

No comments: