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Bennett reports: "According to a new Congressional Budget Office report released on Tuesday, since 1979 the average, after-tax income of the top one percent of American households has risen 275 percent. Meanwhile, for the poorest one-fifth of the country, it's gone up just 18 percent. And for the biggest slice of 'middle class' America - the three-fifths of homes between the top and bottom 20% - incomes have risen just 40%."

Michael Douglas as 'Gordon Gecko' in Oliver Stone's 2010 film, 'Wall Street 2, Money Never Sleeps.' (photo: Wall Street 2)
Michael Douglas as 'Gordon Gecko' in Oliver Stone's 2010 film, 'Wall Street 2, Money Never Sleeps.' (photo: Wall Street 2)



Surprise! The Rich Are Still Getting Richer

By Dashiell Bennett, The Atlantic

26 October 11

 

In news that will surprise almost no one currently trying to occupy Wall Street, a new government report shows that the income of the top 1% is larger than ever and continuing to grow.

According to a new Congressional Budget Office report released on Tuesday, since 1979 the average, after-tax income of the top one percent of American households has risen 275 percent. Meanwhile, for the poorest one-fifth of the country, it's gone up just 18 percent. And for the biggest slice of "middle class" America - the three-fifths of homes between the top and bottom 20% - incomes have risen just 40%.

All those numbers are inflation adjusted and only brings the data up to 2007, before the crisis that led to our current great recession.

The report also underlines how the good times of the last 30 years were good mostly for the wealthiest among us. The top 1 percent receives about 17 percent of all income in this country, a number that has doubled since 1979.

Again, the new data is not shocking, but could provide a boost of energy and momentum to the Occupy Wall Street protestors that faced increased resistance in recent days, especially outside New York. Police in Oakland, Atlanta, and Chicago clashed with protestors yesterday, while residents of downtown Manhattan are growing weary of the drum circles that have plagued them for weeks.

Between the tear gas, the coming winter months, and the our wandering attentions spans the movement will soon be reaching a critical point where disappointment and a lack of energy could drain it of any life. This is a healthy reminder for the 99% of why they were so mad in the first place.

 

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+5 # fredboy 2011-10-26 15:44
Find out who they are, where they live, where they go, and seek direct assistance from them. If all of us constantly do this they might get the message.
 
 
+17 # karenvista 2011-10-26 16:18
They live in compounds with extensive security. We would never be allowed anywhere near them as private security, private aircraft and armored vehicles are categories of exspenses that they are spending increased amounts for.
 
 
+16 # pernsey 2011-10-26 16:08
Grrr!! I am still mad about this. Not that they are rich, but that they are manipulating laws and the system, and draining the middle class and poor to get that way! Hey if Im ever rich someday I would expect to pay my fair share in taxes and I most certainly would benefit some of my family and favorite charities. Thats probably why I wont be rich, because I would share it.
 
 
+10 # historywriter 2011-10-26 16:24
I'm getting downtown Minneapolis this weekend.
These numbers are disastrous. I think they portend even more unfairness and chaos. We need to stop them and we can.
 
 
+12 # Banichi 2011-10-26 17:02
The middle class income has gone up 40%? I don't think I buy that - other indices have shown that real income has actually declined for the middle class in that period. Where did these numbers come from?
 
 
+5 # chick 2011-10-26 19:51
Banichi I agree with you 100%. And the poor have lost homes, jobs, actually they should be in minus catagory.
 
 
+2 # jimyoung 2011-10-26 23:11
Income may have gone up but so did expenses, some like healthcare might not be taxable, but many are. Houses got much more expensive and, though the prices may have dropped the debt on them hasn't begun to drop accordingly. See Elizabeth Warren's book "Two Income Trap..." to see how some of that increase was from higher percentages of two or more workers, overtime, etc, but eaten up by needing two cars, child care, and more expensive fuel, etc.
Truly disposable income seems to have dropped and personal debt skyrocketed as people had hours or jobs cut and medical insurance costs climb higher than anywhere else in the developed world.
 
 
+1 # ericlipps 2011-10-31 12:05
Quoting jimyoung:
Income may have gone up but so did expenses, some like healthcare might not be taxable, but many are. Houses got much more expensive and, though the prices may have dropped the debt on them hasn't begun to drop accordingly. See Elizabeth Warren's book "Two Income Trap..." to see how some of that increase was from higher percentages of two or more workers, overtime, etc, but eaten up by needing two cars, child care, and more expensive fuel, etc.
Truly disposable income seems to have dropped and personal debt skyrocketed as people had hours or jobs cut and medical insurance costs climb higher than anywhere else in the developed world.


Well, if expenses went up for those who can most afford to pay, do you suppose they didn't for everyone else? The rich can be hurt by inflation, sure, but they end up hurting a lot less than the poor and the middle class.
 
 
+15 # ekimlouis 2011-10-26 17:08
And the Koch boys still think they don't have enough.
 
 
+5 # jwb110 2011-10-26 17:10
They are but not for long. It is a simply matter of physics and metaphysics. A thing or system heavier at the top than at its base collapses under its own weight.
It's over 1%!!!!!
 
 
+5 # chick 2011-10-26 19:52
I would love to see that, but, I doubt it.
 
 
+7 # lionsdenmother 2011-10-26 17:22
According to a new Congressional Budget Office report released on Tuesday, since 1979 the average, after-tax income of the top one percent of American households has risen 275 percent. Meanwhile, for the poorest one-fifth of the country, it's gone up just 18 percent. And for the biggest slice of "middle class" America - the three-fifths of homes between the top and bottom 20% - incomes have risen just 40%.

I think that 40% is because of families all moving in togeather. I have my daughter her boyfriend, my two grandchildren and my daughters nephew on her fathers side all living with me. The three adults working raises our family income.
 
 
+1 # lionsdenmother 2011-10-26 17:43
" three-fifths of homes between the top and bottom 20% - incomes have risen just 40%" the only reason for this rise i believe is many of us have moved in togeather. for many years i lived alone i earn a moderate income, but now my daughter and her husband live with me raising that income. showing shinking middle class is probably those whos still live as a one or two earning family. nearly every house on my street now has more then two cars in the driveway these last five years.
 
 
+6 # Charlie W 2011-10-26 18:30
The deck is stacked in the Wealthy's favor and my do they ever have the dumb supporters who love to blog excuses for the wealthy. Education is often difficult and its proving so in Obama's call for his Job's bill. Middle class America and the poor better wake up soon or its curtains for sure.
 
 
+5 # Toribeth 2011-10-26 18:42
The graph is informative but where is the colored line for those with NO INCOME?
 
 
+5 # ABen 2011-10-26 20:41
This is the class warfare started by Reagan and "trickle down" (voodoo) economics. Liberals and progressives must push back hard against the idea that amassing great wealth at the top of the income scale translates into a healthy economy. It never has and never will! But we must differentiate between the Koch Bros types and the Warren Buffet types. Vote Democratic!
 
 
0 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-26 20:54
Did you read that it was a Congressional Budget bs??? You did take math? You realize that anyone can draw graphs on a Microsoft Program and say anything they want.

Last night on two separate shows, two separate reporters said "No one will know the impact of what people are doing right now until Jan or Feb. No one will know. Banks told News Media they will not notice any of the money moves until later in the Spring. Bull, they have started feeling it already.

anyone can tell you anything...do not become a sheeple, think for yourself. If you stop buying Dixie Products, get everyone you know to do so...Koch Bros will feel it but the workers will feel it first. So when you read layoffs at Dixie Plant...Kochs are losing business.

Up and down to boycotting,
 
 
+4 # LeeBlack 2011-10-26 22:53
Not only are the rich getting richer the wealthy seem to be ever more sure that they deserve their wealth.
 
 
-1 # Rara Avis 2011-10-27 05:37
Measure their riches of heart, soul, spirit, and held with the Godly bank above. They're not doing so well. I feel sorry for them: the rich.
 
 
+4 # fredboy 2011-10-27 07:24
Spoke to a very wealthy friend in Florida recently about taxes, etc. He laughed and said he didn't care how much tax relief he gets, he's keeping it, not reinvesting it. A typical New Yorker, he laughed when I mentioned jobs. "Jobs for the slobs," he quipped, "that's a bum's game. Why should I risk a dollar these days?"

A regional bank went under two years ago costing US taxpayers $600 million. Showed the Fed's role--simply propping up fraudulent banks, some being robbed blind by those running them The OCC and Fed know this--it's the perfect, government supported Ponzi scheme. Yet not a peep in the media, spoon fed as they are by the GOP/banking interests. And every bank regulator in history has been completely honest--ever heard of one being prosecuted for payoffs?
 
 
0 # 4yourinformation 2011-10-27 14:20
But...but...the y are the INNOVATORS and JOB CREATORS! You must love them and admire them. They are all so smart and talented and clever. They need all of that wealth because then they wouldn't want make so much magic in our lives.

I know that I always try harder for that .50 cent/hour raise every day, because I'm going to be a super millionaire too, someday.

Who is it?

It's the sheriff, we're here to evict you! The bank says you haven't paid you're mortgage, so you have to come with us to debtor prison (it's real you know).

But you can't evict me, because I love the rich and I'm going to be rich someday!

Yeah, yeah...tell it to the judge. Apparently you are keeping some nice rich people from being even more rich by not paying your mortgage...so chop chop!
 
 
0 # john rusnak 2011-11-01 09:51
You poor slobs....
I went from bankruptcy to a good 6 figure income for myself and a good middle income lifestyle for 9 families off my hard work and "luck".
Do not blame the person with idea and creativity willing to chance it all at gaining the American dream.
For the most part he will include others in his success.
Now for you winers....get a f......!!life already.
What wusses.
Where else could you turn your own idea into a million bucks?.....and keep it.
For the most part I see OWS as an escape from hard work and responsibility.
 
 
0 # shaneB 2011-11-01 23:18
The after-tax income of the country's wealthiest one percent tripled between the years 1979 and 2007. A new report from the Congressional Budget Office offered the findings. The earnings rose at a slower rate for other Americans. The brand new report gives more energy to the national deficit reduction controversy also as to the Occupy Wall Street movement. After tax income for wealthiest one percent has tripled since 1979. It was found out that the disparity between the top earners and the rest of the population became so great that from 2005 to 2007 — the two years before the Great Recession — the top 20 percent had more after-tax income than the entire remaining 80 percent.
 
 
0 # shaneB 2011-11-01 23:23
After tax income for wealthiest one percent has tripled since 1979. It only confims what Americans already know. The rules have been changed by the unfair tax policies of the last decade and our tax code is doing less to level the playing field than it was in the past.
 

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