Discussion of “income inequality” is considered an out of date topic by some, but it’s as real, as significant and if we’re looking with open eyes and not through Duopoly supplied blinkers, as in-our-faces at this moment as it was when, for the obvious example, the Occupy movement made it “news.”
The graph is via David Ruccio at Real World Economics. The explanation he provides is from Dylan Matthews.
Until the 1970s, the bottom 90 percent had actually seen its income grow more than any other income group. The income gap was shrinking. But the ultra-rich quickly reversed that trend. In 2007, the top 0.01 percent had an average income almost seven times that of 1917; the average income of the bottom 90 percent had barely tripled. The country has grown more unequal, not less, since then. And, interestingly, the 90-99th percentiles all saw their average income grow faster than all but the tippy-top of the top 1 percent. The divide between the rich and the rest isn’t the only gap growing, in other words. The gap between the ultra-rich and the merely rich is growing, too.