Posted by Bob Lord
While the political world follows the Rush Limbaugh horror show, today’s real news received precious little attention. This is positively stunning:
So, in 2010, 93% of the income gains went to the top one percenters. The number by itself is staggering, but just a little analysis adds a lot of perspective. In the most recent data I’ve seen (from 2007, I think), the average one percenter made roughly 20 times the income of the average worker. One percenters averaged about $900,000 per household, while workers averaged about $45,000 per household.
As uneven as that is, it’s obvious from the 2010 numbers that things are getting much worse. Of the 2010 income gains, the average one percenter received more than 1,250 times what the average worker received. If things continue at the 2010 pace, and there’s nothing to suggest they won’t, we could within just a few years reach the point where the top one percenters are raking in 40 or 50 times the income of the average worker. At that point, the share of the top one percenters in total income would approach 33%.
Obviously, we’re continuing to run this great social experiment -- How much wealth and how much income can we jam into the top 1% before the bottom 90% explodes? (The 9% in between are content to serve the top 1% and live in relative comfort) So, anyone who thinks the Occupy Movement is going to fade away, think again. There will be peaks and valleys, but over time the movement will gain strength. Of course, it’s anyone’s guess whether it will remain a movement of nonviolence. As we transition from one sixth of the population living in poverty to, say, half the population living in poverty, tactics may change. Unless of course the Occupy Movement succeeds sooner rather than later, which is where we should be looking for real hope and real change.
Oh, I know. There is the prospect that our elected leaders will act to reverse the trend and avert disaster. It may snow in Phoenix tomorrow too.