What’s the state of income inequality in your state? Bad, terrible, or appalling?

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-01-2015-05-2008

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Average share of growth during economic expansions captured by the top 1%, 1949-2012. The expansion beginning in 2009 is startlingly more to the top 1% than others, but overall there's a marked increase after 1979.

The top one percent is out of control. As the economy recovered from recession between 2009 and 2012, the top one percent sucked up an estimated 95 percent of all income growth in the United States. There were 39 states where the top one percent took at least half of the income growth in that period. Emphasis on “at least”:

The states in which all income growth between 2009 and 2012 accrued to the top 1 percent include Delaware, Florida, Missouri, South Carolina, North Carolina, Connecticut, Washington, Louisiana, California, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Massachusetts, Colorado, New York, Rhode Island, and Nevada.

That’s 17 states, if you’re counting. In another seven states, more than 80 percent of the income growth went to the top one percent.

If you’re wondering why raises have been few and far between for a generation, this is your answer. Between 1979 and 2007:

… the average income of the bottom 99 percent of U.S. taxpayers grew by 18.9 percent. Simultaneously, the average income of the top 1 percent grew over 10 times as much—by 200.5 percent.

There are four states—Nevada, Wyoming, Michigan, and Alaska—where the average income of the bottom 99 percent actually fell while the top one percent just kept getting richer. Related: How messed up is it that when we talk about the American economy these days, we talk about “the bottom 99 percent”? That shouldn’t even be a meaningful concept for “bottom,” but given the way income and wealth are skewed, it makes perfect sense in this context.

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