The gap widens

I have a hard time understanding those who not only shoot themselves in the foot, but who take the further step of defending, as if obligated to, those who hand them the gun. There are some who will object to the results of a recent report, but, here it is.

It appears that those at the top of the earnings scale have done a very effective job of convincing people that as long as they get their stuff, the rest of us should be happy for them. To not be is an assault on what it is to be American.

For the first time since such statistics were first collected in 1917, the top 10% of earners in the United States took home more than 50% of all income in 2012.

They may have taken a hit during the economic crisis that began in 2008 (and who of us didn’t), but they have almost fully recovered while the rest of us are still waiting for that long promised trickle-down effect.

In 2012 the earnings of the top 1% increased sharply having grown by 20%, while the 99% only saw a 1% increase. This follows the span from 2009 through 2012 where the income for the top 1% increased by 31.4% in contrast to the 99% which increased only 0.4%. In total the top 1% made a 95% income gain during the first three years of recovery.

From this it appears that since the 1970’s when income inequality began to grow, whenever there is a recession, the top percentage suffers a temporary setback from which they recover, while the rest of us continue to suffer.

The stop-gap policies to help the economy have been shown to only benefit the top percent while they do little for the majority of people who do the work that produces the profits for companies which fill the coffers of those at the top. Policies need to be implemented that not only help the economy, but help those who make the economy work.

The top 10% now has 15.9 times the income of the bottom.

The deregulation of Wall Street resulted in huge profits there which attracted the 1% who had the money to play around with that, and increased their incomes, while the rest of us could not do that because we were not touched by the changes in the tax code for capital gains income, or money made through investment rather than salaries.

In contrast, and with the support of the people who have been misled for personal gain by those who are doing just fine and do not want people to see that or object to it, the social safety net that has helped keep the gap smaller than it otherwise would be is being cut to the tune of $1.5 trillion in spending on social programs over the next decade.

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