What Inequality?

I found this on my tumblr dash, and felt that it was so well-researched and written that it definitely deserved to be more widely circulated. So here is my attempt to help disseminate this information.

What inequality?

  • In the last 30 years, on average, men are working an extra 100 hours per year and women are working an extra 200 hours.
  • The typical American now works two weeks more each year than 30 years ago. Compared with any other advanced nation we are veritable workaholics, putting in 350 more hours a year than the average European, more even than the notoriously industrious Japanese.
  • The median annual income for women working full time is 23% lower than for their male counterparts. The median annual income for black families is 38% lower than for their white counterparts.
  • The income of a young man in his 30s is now 12% below that of a man his age three decades ago.  The income of the top 1% has gone up 281%.
  • In both 2007, when the recession began, and 1929, the year that launched the Great Depression, the richest 1% of Americans held the same share of total income — about 23%.
  • In 1915, the richest 1% accounted for 18% of the nation’s income.
  • The U.S. has the greatest disparity between rich and poor among Western industrialized nations.  Last year, the top fifth of Americans, who earn more than $100,000 a year, received nearly 50% of all income in the U.S., while the bottom 20% received just 3%.
  • This ratio of 15to1 was an increase from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly double a low of 7.69 in 1968.
  • From 1980 to 2005, more than 80% of total increase in Americans’ income went to the top 1%.
  • 31 states saw increases in both the number and percentage of people in poverty between 2008 and 2009.  However, no state had a statistically significant decline in either the number in poverty or the poverty rate.
  • The wealth of the U.S. government is less than 1/4th the total U.S. economy.
  • In the 1950s and early 1960s, the top bracket income tax bracket exceeded 90%.
  • Before Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980, the top income tax bracket stood at or above 70%, where it had been since the Great Depression.  Reagan dropped the top bracket from 70% to 50%, and eventually pushed it all the way down to 28%.  Since then, it has hovered between 30-40%.
  • If President Obama lets George W. Bush’s 2001 tax cut expire for families earning more than $250,000, their taxes will go up from 35% to a little under 40%.  The top bracket would remain 30-50 percentage points below what it was under Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford.
  • The number of corporations with public affairs offices in Washington grew from 100 in 1968 to over 500 in 1978. In 1971, only 175 firms had registered lobbyists in Washington, but by 1982, 2,500 did. The number of corporate PACs increased from under 300 in 1976 to over 1,200 by the middle of 1980. The Chamber of Commerce doubled in membership between 1974 and 1980. Its budget tripled. The National Federation of Independent Business doubled its membership between 1970 and 1979.
  • The finance sector of the U.S. economy saw its share of corporate profits rise from less than 10% in 1979 to more than 40% in the 2000s.
  • In 2005 Carola Frydman and Raven Saks, two young economists at Harvard (later MIT) and the Federal Reserve, respectively, surveyed compensation records on file at the Securities and Exchange Commission dating back to 1936, two years after the SEC was created. They found that pay for top executives declined sharply during World War II, increased modestly from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s, and took off like a rocket during the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Among industrialized nations, those that have achieved the greatest social equality are the same ones that have achieved the greatest income equality. France, for example, has a level of income inequality much lower than that of most other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. It’s one of the very few places where income inequality has been going down.  Do France’s high marks on both social equality and income equality really strike you as a coincidence?

Via: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]

(Source: mohandasgandhi)