Daily Archives: October 18, 2010

Extreme Income Inequality

During the three decades after World War II incomes in the United States rose rapidly and at about the same rate — almost 3 percent a year — for people at all income levels. America had an economically vibrant middle class. Roads and bridges were well maintained, and impressive new infrastructure was being built. People were optimistic.

By contrast, during the last three decades the economy has grown much more slowly, and our infrastructure has fallen into grave disrepair. Most troubling, all significant income growth has been concentrated at the top of the scale.

The share of total income going to the top 1% of earners, which stood at 8.9% in 1976, rose to 23.5% by 2007, but during the same period, the hourly wage declined by more than 7%.   Census data for the 100 most populous counties in the US show that the counties where income inequality grew fastest also showed the biggest increases in symptoms of financial distress: largest increases in bankruptcy filings & divorce rates.

Take a look at the stats here.


Filed under Economics, Financial Rules & Regulations, Income Inequality

Monday, 10/18/10, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square