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It’s The Inequality, Stupid, By Dave Gilson and Carolyn Perot

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

A huge share of the nation’s economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244.

Average Income by Family, distributed by income group.

The richest controls 2/3 of America's net worth

Note: The 2007 data (the most current) doesn’t reflect the impact of the housing market crash. In 2007, the bottom 60% of Americans had 65% of their net worth tied up in their homes. The top 1%, in contrast, had just 10%. The housing crisis has no doubt further swelled the share of total net worth held by the superrich.

Winners Take All

The superrich have grabbed the bulk of the past three decades’ gains.

Aevrage Household income before taxes.

Out of Balance

A Harvard business prof and a behavioral economist recently asked more than 5,000 Americans how they thought wealth is distributed in the United States. Most thought that it’s more balanced than it actually is. Asked to choose their ideal distribution of wealth, 92% picked one that was even more equitable.

Average Income by Family, distributed by income group.

Capitol Gain

Why Washington is closer to Wall Street than Main Street.

median net worth of american families, median net worth for mebers of congress, your odds of being a millionaire, member of congress's odds of being a millionaire
member max. est. net worth
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) $451.1 million
Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) $435.4 million
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) $366.2 million
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) $294.9 million
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) $285.1 million
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) $283.1 million
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) $231.2 million
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) $201.5 million
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) $136.2 million
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) $108.1 million
combined net worth: $2.8 billion

10 Richest Members of Congress 100% Voted to extend the cutsCongressional data from 2009. Family net worth data from 2007. Sources: Center for Responsive Politics; US Census; Edward Wolff, Bard College.

Who’s Winning?

For a healthy few, it’s getting better all the time.

Gains and Losses in 2007-2009, Average CEO Pay vs. Average Worker Pay
A millionaire's atx rate, now and then. Share of Federal Tax revenue

YOUR LOSS,THEIR GAIN

How much income have you given up for the top 1 percent?

 

Sources

Income distribution: Emmanuel Saez (http://www NULL.econ NULL.berkeley NULL.edu/~saez/TabFig2008 NULL.xls) [1] (Excel)

Net worth: Edward Wolff (http://www NULL.levyinstitute NULL.org/pubs/wp_589 NULL.pdf) [2] (PDF)

Household income/income share: Congressional Budget Office (http://www NULL.cbo NULL.gov/publications/collections/tax/2010/all_tables NULL.pdf) [3]

Real vs. desired distribution of wealth: Michael I. Norton and Dan Ariely (http://www NULL.people NULL.hbs NULL.edu/mnorton/norton%20ariely%20in%20press NULL.pdf) [4] (PDF)

Net worth of Americans vs. Congress: Federal Reserve (http://www NULL.federalreserve NULL.gov/pubs/oss/oss2/2007/scf2007home NULL.html) [5] (average); Center for Responsive Politics (http://www NULL.opensecrets NULL.org/pfds/overview NULL.php?type=W&year=2009&filter=C) [6] (Congress)

Your chances of being a millionaire: Calculation based on data from Wolff (http://www NULL.levyinstitute NULL.org/pubs/wp_589 NULL.pdf) [2] (PDF); US Census (household (http://factfinder NULL.census NULL.gov/servlet/ACSSAFFFacts?_event=&geo_id=01000US&_geoContext=01000US&_street=&_county=&_cityTown=&_state=&_zip=80247&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=010&_submenuId=factsheet_1&ds_name=DEC_2000_SAFF&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null&reg=&_keyword=&_industry=) [7] and population (http://factfinder NULL.census NULL.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-ds_name=PEP_2009_EST&-mt_name=PEP_2009_EST_G2009_T001) [8] data)  

Member of Congress’ chances: Center for Responsive Politics (http://www NULL.opensecrets NULL.org/news/2010/11/congressional-members-personal-weal NULL.html) [9]

Wealthiest members of Congress: Center for Responsive Politics (http://www NULL.opensecrets NULL.org/pfds/index NULL.php) [10]

Tax cut votes: New York Times (Senate (http://politics NULL.nytimes NULL.com/congress/votes/111/senate/2/276?ref=politics) [11]; House (http://politics NULL.nytimes NULL.com/congress/votes/111/house/2/647) [12])

Wall street profits, 2007-2009: New York State Comptroller (http://osc NULL.state NULL.ny NULL.us/osdc/rpt10-2011 NULL.pdf) [13] (PDF)

Unemployment rate, 2007-2009: Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www NULL.bls NULL.gov/cps/prev_yrs NULL.htm) [14]

Home equity, 2007-2009: Federal Reserve, Flow of Funds data, 1995-2004 (http://www NULL.federalreserve NULL.gov/RELEASES/z1/Current/annuals/a1995-2004 NULL.pdf) [15] and 2005-2009 (http://www NULL.federalreserve NULL.gov/RELEASES/z1/Current/annuals/a2005-2009 NULL.pdf) [16] (PDFs)

CEO vs. worker pay: Economic Policy Institute (http://www NULL.stateofworkingamerica NULL.org/charts/view/17) [17]

Historic tax rates: Calculations based on data from The Tax Foundation (http://www NULL.taxfoundation NULL.org/publications/show/151 NULL.html) [18]

Federal tax revenue: Joint Committee on Taxation (http://www NULL.jct NULL.gov/publications NULL.html?func=startdown&id=3719) [19] (PDF)Read also: Kevin Drum on the decline of Big Labor, the rise of Big Business, and why the Obama era fizzled so soon. (http://motherjones NULL.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-labor-union-decline) [20]

More Mother Jones charty goodness: How the rich get richer (http://motherjones NULL.com/politics/2006/05/look-numbers-how-rich-get-richer) [21]; how the poor get poorer (http://motherjones NULL.com/politics/2006/07/poor-losers) [22]; who owns Congress? (http://motherjones NULL.com/politics/2010/09/congress-corporate-sponsors) [23]

Source URL: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph (http://motherjones NULL.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph)

Links:
[1] http://www.econ.berkeley.edu/~saez/TabFig2008.xls
[2] http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_589.pdf
[3] http://www.cbo.gov/publications/collections/tax/2010/all_tables.pdf
[4] http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/norton%20ariely%20in%20press.pdf
[5] http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/oss/oss2/2007/scf2007home.html
[6] http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/overview.php?type=W&year=2009&filter=C
[7] http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ACSSAFFFacts?_event=&geo_id=01000US&_geoContext=01000US&_street=&_county=&_cityTown=&_state=&_zip=80247&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=010&_submenuId=factsheet_1&ds_name=DEC_2000_SAFF&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null&reg=&_keyword=&_industry=
[8] http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-ds_name=PEP_2009_EST&-mt_name=PEP_2009_EST_G2009_T001
[9] http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/11/congressional-members-personal-weal.html
[10] http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/index.php
[11] http://politics.nytimes.com/congress/votes/111/senate/2/276?ref=politics
[12] http://politics.nytimes.com/congress/votes/111/house/2/647
[13] http://osc.state.ny.us/osdc/rpt10-2011.pdf
[14] http://www.bls.gov/cps/prev_yrs.htm
[15] http://www.federalreserve.gov/RELEASES/z1/Current/annuals/a1995-2004.pdf
[16] http://www.federalreserve.gov/RELEASES/z1/Current/annuals/a2005-2009.pdf
[17] http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org/charts/view/17
[18] http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html
[19] http://www.jct.gov/publications.html?func=startdown&id=3719
[20] http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-labor-union-decline
[21] http://motherjones.com/politics/2006/05/look-numbers-how-rich-get-richer
[22] http://motherjones.com/politics/2006/07/poor-losers
[23] http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/09/congress-corporate-sponsors

5 comments to It’s The Inequality, Stupid, By Dave Gilson and Carolyn Perot

  • Leon Night

    What makes the US Government think that this struggling majority of Americans, with all the guns they own, won’t turn on their leaders in revolt at some point? It’s not a question of “if” it is now only a question of “when”. And if the Arab nations are any example, it’s gonna come swift and hard.

  • Zoli

    Sorry to disapoint you Leon Night, but i do not expect any such thing to happen. Just take a look at all the poor folks who are being dooped into suporting laise fair capitalist organizations like the Tea Party. They actually want all stops to be removed by the government, so the elites can go full throtle in their bid to exploit the poor to the maximum. In efect the poor are revolting, but revolting against the very measures meant to protect them.

  • Casa Food Shed » Blog Archive » Cycle of instability kicks in (http://casafoodshed NULL.org/archives/2011/02/26/cycle-of-instability-kicks-in/)

    [...] And oh yes, in the U.S. the disparity of wealth between the rich and the rest has never been greater. [...]

  • roger

    The American voter has a history of
    voting against his/her interest,
    nowhere else in this world has
    advertising worked so well and
    propaganda been so effective.
    Power corrupts and wealth promotes
    blindness.

  • Leon Night

    Hi, Zoli.
    You responded by saying “the poor are revolting, but revolting against the very measures meant to protect them.”

    True… So, if the Tea Party is successful in getting “all stops to be removed by the government, so the elites can go full throtle in their bid to exploit the poor to the maximum”, then the divide between rich and poor will grow, and–as I said–the poor will turn on their leaders in revolt.

    You have simply indicated an interim step toward the ultimate collapse. When the poor, who have made matters worse due to their own ignorance, get even poorer… BOOM!

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