Friday, October 8, 2010

Economic Inequality Growing: Just Deny It Exists

The Washington Post has a good article about how Republicans' response to economic inequality is to simply deny it exists.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/05/AR2010100505535.html?wpisrc=nl_pmheadline

By Steven Pearlstein
Wednesday, October 6, 2010; 2:51 AM

Here is an excerpt:

"As with global warming, Republicans seem to have decided that the best way to deal with this fundamental challenge is to deny it exists."

"If you asked Americans how much of the nation's pretax income goes to the top 10 percent of households, it is unlikely they would come anywhere close to 50 percent, which is where it was just before the bubble burst in 2007. That's according to groundbreaking research by economists Thomas Piketty, of the Paris School of Economics, and Emmanuel Saez, of the University of California at Berkeley, who last week won one of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius" grants.

"It wasn't always that way. From World War II until 1976, considered by many as the "golden years" for the U.S. economy, the top 10 percent of the population took home less than a third of the income generated by the private economy. But since then, according to Saez and Piketty, virtually all of the benefits of economic growth have gone to households that, in today's terms, earn more than $110,000 a year.

"Even within that top "decile," the distribution is remarkably skewed. By 2007, the top 1 percent of households took home 23 percent of the national income after a 15-year run in which they captured more than half - yes, you read that right, more than half - of the country's economic growth. As Tim Noah noted recently in a wonderful series of articles in Slate, that's the kind of income distribution you'd associate with a banana republic or a sub-Saharan kleptocracy, not the world's oldest democracy and wealthiest market economy"

No comments:

Post a Comment