This was on my Facebook page… Notice that it doesn’t say anything about real income of the bottom 20% between 1979 and 2007…
This leaves out lots of factors – like the people who were in the bottom 20 % in 1979 are most likely not still there today – like me, for instance. In fact, in 1979, I was making about 5.00 per hour. And I had a wife and three kids at the time.
Thirty three years later, I’m doing considerably better than 5.00/hr – but I have worked hard to get there.
The latest leftist, anti-capitalist fad is income inequality — the fact that some people have higher incomes than others. Although income inequality is present in every society (no matter what economic system), it is apparently now a major concern because it appears to be growing in Western countries that are more or less capitalist. In fact, according to a panel of “experts” income inequality is the biggest global risk of the near future — right up there with massive national debts, high unemployment, etc. (isn’t it odd that income inequality suddenly became such a huge global risk right after the media started talking about it?).
Speaking of the media and income inequality, the BBC has an article reporting on analyses of U.S. and British income inequality which shows that income inequality has been rising for the past several decades (for some reason the title of this article is “The Wealth Gap” despite the fact that the article is about income, and it should be obvious that wealth != income). For the U.S., the BBC cites data from the CBO which show that between 1979 and 2007 real after-tax income (i.e. adjusted for inflation) increased from a high of 275% for the top 1% to a low of 18% for the bottom 20%. For the U.K., data from the World Top Incomes Database show that between 1997 and 2007 the average income for the bottom 90% increased from £10,567 to £12,430 while the average income for the top 0.1% increased more dramatically from £646,358 to £1,179,947. It’s clear from the data that income inequality is rising.
Or as Maggie Thatcher would say…
H/T The Nullspace