Monday, April 1, 2013

Man, We're Doin' Great, Aren't We?

It's April Fool's Day today. Somehow this post seems entirely appropriate for all of those millions of fools in this country who think we have anything that resembles justice and equality in this society. Here in its entirety, another little insight (from Salon a few days ago) into just how the richest people in this country since the beginning of Reaganomics have stuck it to the rest of us hard and repeatedly while laughing all the way to the Cayman Islands.
Pulitzer Prize-winner David Cay Johnston has highlighted yet more statistics that illuminate the spike in income inequality in the U.S. in recent decades. Flagging Johnston’s analysis, HuffPo noted Monday, “Incomes for the bottom 90 percent of Americans only grew by $59 on average between 1966 and 2011 (when you adjust those incomes for inflation)… During the same period, the average income for the top 10 percent of Americans rose by $116,071.” 
Johnston offered a visual analogy for the disparity in a column for Tax Analysts last month:
The vast majority averaged a mere $59 more in 2011 than in 1966. For the top 10 percent, by the same measures, average income rose by $116,071 to $254,864, an increase of 84 percent over 1966. 
Plot those numbers on a chart, with one inch for $59, and the top 10 percent’s line would extend more than 163 feet. 
Now compare the vast majority’s $59 with the top 1 percent, and that line extends for 884 feet. The top 1 percent of the top 1 percent, whose 2011 average income of $23.7 million was $18.4 million more per taxpayer than in 1966, would require a line nearly five miles long.
We're doing just great in the land of the free, aren't we?
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