All Is Proceeding As Planned

The only thing that’s recovered is the top 1% of income earners:

Emmanuel Saez, the Berkeley economist who (with Thomas Piketty, an economist at the École d’economie de Paris) first mapped the enormous 34-year run-up in income share for America’s top 1 percent, came up last year with a statistic that was widely quoted by people who care about rising income inequality. In 2010, the first year of economic recovery after the 2009-2010 recession, 93 percent of all pre-tax income gains went to the top 1 percent, which in that year meant any household making more than about $358,000. This was, I quipped at the time, a members-only recovery. No 99-percenters need apply.

Saez has now updated this statistic to include 2011. When you look at the economic recovery’s first two years, the top one percent (which by 2011 meant any household making more than about $367,000) captured 121 percent of all pre-tax income gains.

How is it even possible for the one percent to capture more than 100 percent of all income gains since the last recession? Looked at from one point of view, it’s not. It is enough to say that in 2010 and 2011 all of the recovery went to the one percent. If you were in the bottom 99 percent, as by definition nearly all of us are, you didn’t see a dime of that recovery.

And yet we keep voting in the same group of rascals election after election. I think that’s explainable only due to a perception that the only alternative is a different group of rascals.

Is the perception right or wrong?

5 comments… add one

  • And yet we keep voting in the same group of rascals election after election. I think that’s explainable only due to a perception that the only alternative is a different group of rascals.

    Is the perception right or wrong?

    Well, as I have argued, the Democrat/Republican thing is really a nothing issue…except to keep people from really paying attention to what is really going on. Keep in mind the Democrats have held considerable power over the last 5 years and yet we get this result.

    So I’d say your perception is right.

  • Hattip

    You act like they are “taking it” from the other “classes”.

    A typical marxist bit of rhetoric.

    The reality is that the Democrats have been making war on the middle class, and have impoverished them. That would be the REAL middle class, those that run SMEs, not the fake middle clas of higher end union workers. THat is the deocrat party: The Rich, the unions, the rest of the Nomenklatura and the poor against the middle class.

    The 99% agit-prop os Marxist hogwash. You want a recover, get the Democrats out of power across the board and undo all their thievery.

  • TastyBits

    @Steve Verdon

    It took me a long time to accept what was apparent. Each side is playing its adherents. At some point, the “scales fell from my eyes”, and there was no going back. For me, learning the truth about Tuskegee did it, but it is difficult for most people to question all that is assumed to be “the truth”.

  • TastyBits

    @Hattip

    … You want a recovery, get the Democrats out of power across the board and undo all their thievery.

    The Republicans would never allow this to happen. Campaign donations require passionate supporters. Each party has about the same number of issues that generate campaign donations. Anybody who’s enthusiasm wanes is a heretic within their party.

    It is interesting that one party rarely embraces the other party’s heretics. This could be an oversight, but I doubt it.

  • jan

    Many on the left love the European way of life. Maybe that’s why this country finds it kind of magical to follow in it’s footsteps. However, when you look at a country like France, it’s noted that in 2012 there was nary a quarter of growth to be seen causing the European GDP to take a nosedive.

    There is no magic bullet that can magically transform the EU economy. The French made a mistake electing a socialist in France that decided to expand government programs and increase taxes. But no one ever confused the French for being capitalists. The multiplier effect of government spending is 0. You cannot tax and spend your way to economic prosperity.

    Europeans never learned that. They are full on Keynesians. Central planners. Bureaucrats.

    The debts they have accrued are eating them alive. Their economies cannot grow fast enough to keep up. They have entered what is known as the death spiral. Because of the heavy government interference in markets, and the artificial low interest rates the EU Central bank is imposing, capital is locked. It doesn’t turn over and won’t cannot be allocated through the marketplace to more productive resources.

    Boy, does this sound like a familiar movie, or something! It begs the question as to what is the solution to such a confounding problem?

    The way out of the mess is a difficult path no politician, and especially no bureaucrat in a cushy job wants. Take a meat cleaver to government regulation. End subsidies. Slash taxes. End government jobs and put them to work in the risky private sector. Privatize, privatize, privatize. End centrally planned panels and market manipulators and let the free market reign over capital allocation and who wins, and who loses.

    Well, we don’t have to worry about that happening here — at least for the next 4 years!

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