One Percent is better off than ever
According to the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office, the richest one percent of Americans saw their income, adjusted for inflation, balloon up by 275 percent between in 1979 and 2007. Meanwhile, however, the bottom 20 percent of the United States saw their income increase by only a staggering 18 percent.
While the inequality between classes is obviously most evident between the two extremes, across the board a skewed distribution of wealth is evident in America. According to the report, the top 20 percent of earners constituted for more of the national income than the entire rest of the population—all 80 percent — put together.
Excluding the top and bottom of the stack, the three-fifths of Americans in the middle of the income scale saw a growth in income over the nearly three decade span by 40 percent, just a fraction of the surge that the wealthiest residents saw.
In their report, the CBO themselves seem baffled by in unequal surge in wealth among classes, noting “The precise reasons for the rapid growth in income at the top are not well understood.” The report continues to reveal that “Researchers have offered several potential rationales, including technical innovations that have changed the labor market for superstars (such as actors, athletes and musicians), changes in the governance and structure of executive compensation, increases in firms’ size and complexity, and the increasing scale of financial-sector activities.”
Even if the meaning behind the inequality isn’t obvious, many can agree that it isn’t exactly a surprise.
"This report confirms what the American people already know," Representative Sander Levin tells Reuters."The rules have been changed by the unfair tax policies of the last decade and our tax code is doing less to level the playing field than it was in the past."
Economist John Bowler adds to ABC News that technological advances in the 30 year span have created opportunities for the highly-skilled, meanwhile those without an education — those that cannot afford an education — are forced into routine tasks.
"They don't feel any ability to move up. They feel stuck and don't feel there's a lottery ticket to take them to a higher class," former George W Bush strategist Matthew Dowd adds to ABC about Middle America’s frustrations. "They watch Wall Street, government bailouts and feel like the rich play by different rules," he says. "They think, 'Here I am, trying to make payments on my house with my own small business, trying to make ends meet, but if I need help, no one will help me.'"
As that frustration mounts, it is becoming more and more obvious in the polls. Statistics from a CBS News / New York Times survey that RT reported on earlier today revealed that 46 of Americans reflect their own views and concerns. Demonstrators have been gathering for over a month now to protest the very inequality, among other things, made evident in the CBO’s latest report.