Of course, I can't stick to just one graph, and will bring out another one (from the NYT, 29 March):
Most of the growth has been captured by the very rich. That NYT article has been quoted previously, but this bears repeating:
While total reported income in the United States increased almost 9 percent in 2005, the most recent year for which such data is available, average incomes for those in the bottom 90 percent dipped slightly compared with the year before, dropping $172, or 0.6 percent.
The gains went largely to the top 1 percent, whose incomes rose to an average of more than $1.1 million each, an increase of more than $139,000, or about 14 percent.
The new data also shows that the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980.
(And that's just income. The distribution of wealth is even more skewed)
And here's one quote to think about:
According to the UNDP report: “A baby boy from a family in the top 5 per cent of US income distribution will enjoy a lifespan 25 per cent longer than a baby boy from the bottom 5 per cent.”
(From an article in the Financial Times which I quote and comment more extensively on the European Tribune).
Think about that: a lifespan 25% longer. That's at least 15 years. Just so that a few gazillionaires can gazillaround.
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