Sep 12 2013
As we come up on the two year anniversary of the start of the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the five year anniversary of the financial melt down, we find that little has changed for 99% of Americans who still face a shaky financial future. Now, a shocking new report by economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty confirm that actually things are much worse now than they were 5 years ago. The two economists show that income inequality has reached its highest levels in almost a 100 years.
Saez and Piketty used IRS data from 1913 to 2012 to find that the top 1% of earners or those households who make more than $394,000 a year, took home more than 1/5th of the income earned by all Americans, breaking a record set in 1928. While the Great Recession made a dent across all income levels, the richest 1% have now completely rebounded while the income levels of the 99% has only made a less than half a percentage point gain since the recession.
Piketty and Saez wrote, “Overall, these results suggest that the Great Recession has only depressed top income shares temporarily and will not undo any of the dramatic increase in top income shares that has taken place since the 1970s.”
GUEST: Max Fraad Wolff, an instructor at the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School University and senior analyst with Greencrest Capital.