Friday, February 15, 2013

Top 1% got 121% of all Income Gains from '09 and '11

According to research from the University of California at Berkeley, the top 1 percent of households by income captured 121 percent of all income gains between 2009 and 2011.

You're asking, how was the top 1 percent able to capture 21 percent more than all of the income gains? Because during that time span, they became 11.2 percent richer --- while at the same time, the bottom 99 percent got 0.4 percent poorer (when accounting for inflation) according to the study by Emmanuel Saez.

Saez released the updated figures January 23, 2013 after discovering that the top 1 percent had captured 93 percent of all income gains in 2010, the first full year of the supposed "economic recovery".

Overall, between 1993 and 2011 (during 18 years), the top 1 percent's incomes over doubled, at 57.5 percent, while the incomes of the bottom 99 percent grew just a puny 5.8 percent in almost two decades.

A better argument couldn't be made to give American workers a raise.

Obama wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour and peg it to inflation. John Boehner says, "When you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it." (Although 20 years of studies by various economists have never made that correlation.)

What probably concerns House Republicans, as well as the business lobby, most about Obama's proposal is not just the nominal minimum wage hike. It's the inclusion of a cost-of-living adjustment, which would tweak the minimum wage each year to adjust for inflation. This would guarantee that workers on the lowest rung of the economic ladder don't lose purchasing power. It would also mean fast-food companies like McDonalds and other low-wage employers like Walmart would have to pay higher wages every year if there's higher inflation.

And with a raise, these American workers would also be paying more in federal, Social Security and Medicare taxes too. That's why off-shoring jobs to places like China (to pay people in China) only enriches the Chinese economy and China's national treasury at the expense of ours. Read More...

According to a report by Economic Policy Institute, households in the wealthiest one percent were 288 times richer than the median American household in 2010.

The wealthiest one percent own more than 35 percent of all wealth in the U.S, and income inequality is growing as wages have not kept up with workers' increased output. The EPI blames economic policies such as the deregulation of the financial industry, lower tax rates and weakened protections for collective bargaining.

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