Have you heard the terrible, awful news?
Over roughly the last three decades, specifically from 1979 to 2007, Americans across all segments of the economy — from the poorest to the richest — have seen their incomes rise.
It just doesn’t get any worse, eh?
- The poorest fifth of the population, on average, saw their inflation-adjusted incomes increase 18 percent.
- The 60 percent of Americans in the middle earned nearly 40 percent more, after taxes.
- Those of us from the 80th percentile to the 99th had income gains of 65 percent.
- Incomes for the top one percent of earners were up a whopping 275 percent.
One might think that universally higher incomes are a good thing, but that depends on how you look at it.
“If you think of America’s total income as one giant pie,” an ABC World News Tonight report explained, “the richest one percent have seen the size of their piece double over the last 30 years. And everyone else has seen their piece get smaller.”
Well, I’m really hoping that we won’t start thinking of all our incomes as “one giant pie.”
What about this 99 percent versus 1 percent warfare?
That’s media slant. Most Americans don’t begrudge someone good fortune, and affirmatively admire those who grow wealthy in return for smarts and hard work.
But they do oppose bailouts.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.