If you’ve been privileged, successful, or lucky enough to be in the upper one percent of income earners or inheritors the past 28 years, you’ve done very, very well. The Congressional Budget Office reports that from 1979 to 2007, one per centers saw their income rise by 275%. The rest of the richest one-fifth saw their income rise by about 65%. Middle class earners saw only a 40% increase in 28 years. Low income Americans saw an 18% increase.
This income gap is part of the reason for a now world-wide “occupy” movement. The problem is, expressing public outrage probably won’t help. It doesn’t seem the protesters know exactly who to blame: the wealthy, government, capitalism, life?
There are complicated reasons behind a three-decade funneling of most of the nation’s wealth into the hands of a few. Do wealthy people really work harder than everyone else … or invest smarter? Or is government to blame? Or is this the natural evolution of capitalism?
Our thought for today is from Don Marquis:
“When a man tells you he got rich through hard work, ask him: ‘Whose?’”