Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Investigations: Move Over 1%, Richest 0.01% Clean Up

Apparently, it sucks to be a one-percenter. That's because the richest one percent of people aren't getting wealthier as quickly as the really rich - the 0.1-percenters - not to mention the crazy, insane rich - the 0.01-percenters.

The eye-opening chart in this New York Times article tells the story. While incomes of the bottom 90 percent of American households have remained flat since 1913 (even falling since the 1970s after inflation), the top one percent have seen modest gains, earning about $1.3 million today (in real 2012 dollars), according to the World Top Incomes Database, which compiled the data for the New York Times story.

That's about double what they earned in 1913, according to the chart. (The exact amount they earned in 1913 wasn't immediately apparent in the story or database.)

Now for the really rich: the 0.1-percenters. These blessed individuals earn about $6 million today - up from about $2 million in 1913.

But that gain is still peanuts compared to the 0.01-percenters, whose household income has exploded from under $5 million in 1913 to $31 million today - a more than six-fold increase.

And to think of all the hatred spewed at the poor one-percenters.

UPDATE: On a related note, I just came across this interesting Bloomberg story on the huge and ever-widening gap between CEO and worker pay.

CEOs in the U.S. earned an estimated 20 times that of rank-and-file workers in the 1950s.

Today, that ratio has widened more than 10-fold to 204-to-1, the story reports amid a good discussion of stalled government attempts to get more transparency from corporations about executive compensation.

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