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Some Stats on Income Inequality

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From the WaPo: With executive pay, rich pull away from rest of America

The top 0.1 percent of earners make about .7 million or more, including capital gains. Of those, 41 percent were executives, managers and supervisors at non-financial companies, according to the analysis, with nearly half of them deriving most of their income from their ownership in privately-held firms. An additional 18 percent were managers at financial firms or financial professionals at any sort of firm.

Income inequality has been on the rise for decades in several nations, including the United Kingdom, China and India, but it has been most pronounced in the United States, economists say.

In 1975, for example, the top 0.1 percent of earners garnered about 2.5 percent of the nation’s income, including capital gains, according to data collected by University of California economist Emmanuel Saez. By 2008, that share had quadrupled and stood at 10.4 percent.

The phenomenon is even more pronounced at even higher levels of income. The share of the income commanded by the top 0.01 percent rose from 0.85 percent to 5.03 percent over that period. For the 15,000 families in that group, average income now stands at million.

In world rankings of income inequality, the United States now falls among some of the world’s less-developed economies.

Here is the most recent paper I could find from Saez: Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States

The WaPo article focuses on the incomes of non-financial business executives, but I’d focus more on the 18% who were managers at financial firms.




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