For America’s obscenely, overwhelmingly wealthy… and, to a lesser degree, for people with incomes in the top 10%… there’s been a recovery.
For everyone else in America… there has been not even a hint of a change.
Is this just the vanishing of a fondly if fuzzily remembered Clinton era of growing wealth for everybody?
No. Here’s a summary of what Robert Reich has to say on the subject:
The top 1 percent got 45 percent of Clinton-era economic growth, and 65 percent of the economic growth during the Bush era.
According to an analysis of tax returns by Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Pikkety, the top 1 percent pocketed 93 percent of the gains in 2010. 37 percent of the gains went to the top one-tenth of one percent. No one below the richest 10 percent saw any gain at all.
In fact, most of the bottom 90 percent have lost ground. Their average adjusted gross income was $29,840 in 2010. That’s down $127 from 2009, and down $4,843 from 2000 (all adjusted for inflation).
Some of us… the chronically unemployed… have not even been that lucky. Averages are great, if you’re not below them, but they’re a terrible measure of typical economic well-being.
Eat the rich, I say. (Be sure to clean and cook them thoroughly before consuming them.) Seriously: there is no just basis for the change in income distribution over the past three decades. It is rapidly turning America into a third-world nation with a bimodal wealth distribution like the worst of South America… or possibly worse. I unapologetically favor taxing the rich mofo’s back into the Stone Age… not punitively, but as a matter of national survival.