Friday, October 12, 2007

Income Disparity

In this week's GOP debate, nearly all of the candidates praised the economy, as did George Bush in a series of speeches this week. I call bullshit on this analysis.

The most recent numbers on income disparity are from 2005:

The new data also shows that the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980.

* * * *

The analysis by the two professors showed that the top 10 percent of Americans collected 48.5 percent of all reported income in 2005.

That is an increase of more than 2 percentage points over the previous year and up from roughly 33 percent in the late 1970s. The peak for this group was 49.3 percent in 1928.

The top 1 percent received 21.8 percent of all reported income in 2005, up significantly from 19.8 percent the year before and more than double their share of income in 1980. The peak was in 1928, when the top 1 percent reported 23.9 percent of all income.

The bottom line is that the bottom 50% of Americans earned about 13% of the total income in 2005.

Yeah, the economy is doing great -- if you're wealthy.

No comments: