Why it seems your income is treading water
Most Americans' compensation has risen only $59 since 1966, according to a new analysis. The top 10% of earners fared far better.
But one thing that hasn't budged much is Americans' inflation-adjusted income, according to a tax analysis by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston.
For Americans in the bottom 90%, the "vast majority averaged a mere $59 more in 2011 than in 1966," writes Johnston, who adds that the figure is "jaw-dropping."
That means most Americans gained only enough income to buy movie tickets, popcorn and soda for a family of four -- for just one visit to the multiplex per year.
Not all Americans saw their wages stagnate, however. Since 1966, the top 10% of earners saw their incomes jump by $116,071, reaching $254,864 in 2011, Johnston writes. His analysis is based on research by economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty. (As I wrote in MSN moneyNOW last month, Berkeley economist Saez recently found that only the top 1% saw average real income growth between 2009 and 2011.)
"That disparity in income growth rates comes as the total federal tax burdens on those at the top have been slashed, compared with 1966, especially for the long-term capital gains that account for about a third of total income at the very top," Johnston points out.
Johnston's analysis provides a sobering long-term look at why so many Americans feel they're working harder than ever to keep their heads above water. With rising costs for everything from food to a college education, a $59 income gain over four decades isn't going to help.
To be sure, some other recent research indicates the rich have gotten socked by higher taxes, with federal tax bills approaching 30-year highs.
But in more bad news for America's struggling middle and lower classes, the very rich don't necessarily have priorities that align with have-nots, according a study from Vanderbilt University researchers.
Today's Daddy Warbucks "are much less willing than others to provide broad educational opportunities, including 'spend(ing) whatever is necessary to ensure that all children have really good public schools they can go to' or 'mak(ing) sure that everyone who wants to go to college can do so,'" according to the researchers, who surveyed 83 Chicago-area residents with an average wealth of $14 million.
The elite also oppose government redistribution of wealth, favor lower estate tax rates and lean toward supporting cuts in social programs such as Social Security to reduce the deficit, the study found.
But the uber-wealthy are also more likely to be politically active, with two-thirds of them contributing to campaigns and giving an average of $4,633 to candidates or organizations in the previous year.
"The elite also oppose government redistribution of wealth"
No shlt sherlock?
Tax rates, spending cuts, baby boomers are sucking the system dry, the young generation refuses to work, I want to keep what I earn........
These are all ways to keep America divided while the super rich control everything. The ones in government get gifts from lobbyists in return for tax exemptions then when they leave government they are put on the boards of the same companies. Unlimited campaign contributions have made it so only the super rich can run for office so it's become one big super circle of friends enriching each other at America's expense.
Think about it, America spends 17.5% GDP on health care and 40 million have been without coverage. Most countries spend 14.5% and cover everyone, why? Well paying $6.00 for a pill that you can get anywhere else for 50 cents or allowing hospitals to charge $40.00 for a pill dispenser which is in fact a paper cup might be part of it? Now multiply that by BS and imagine it in the defense department and every other department and throw in subsidies like farming, oil, unions and everything else you can think of and you get where the country is today.
The super rich telling you it's your neighbors fault while it's them all along.......
Median pay for outside directors, over $200,000, average work week, Less than 5 hours.
Here's the Rub, they get to actually vote on their own pay. Do you?
I have ZERO problems with that. In fact, he might end up being underpaid. That's the risk you have on either side. I have ZERO problems with folks investing their money and making millions/billions in stocks or whatever.
The problem mostly centers around lazy CEOs claiming to EARN wages at companies where workers are doing most if not all of the work. The problem lies with dishonest players getting bailed out by the FED/Government while the rest of us are left to fend for ourselves.
But sure, you go ahead an claim how the barking dogs EARNED it. How dense do you have to be to buy that crap. That's not promoting socialism, that's promoting what use be called plain old commonsense.
Thing is, you have to FIRST EARN what you claim is your right to keep. Many at the top have not. Yet they are first to claim you haven't earned a darn thing. That's the madness that's sweeping this country.
They do not support the redistribution of wealth? I suppose you find that suprising. Do you suppose the bottom wage earners would support redistribution of wealth?
I think that I should keep what I work for and earn and you should do the same. Explain to me why I am wrong to think so.
"One in 5 now collect food stamps."
That's at least 80 million Americans. Would you reather have machines spit out cheap facsimiles of formerly well-made goods and no jobs, or jobs makling well-made goods and a robust economy? Time to take a serious look at where we are headed America.
Good point Float'.....Yeah, just try taking away a "rich person's" Social Security...
It's good for them, but not the masses..
"But the uber-wealthy are also more likely to be politically active, with two-thirds of them contributing to campaigns and giving an average of $4,633 to candidates or organizations in the previous year." - end quote
Excuse me, but there are other ways to be politically active besides donating to some candidate.
Are you implying that those of us who don't have money to donate AREN'T politically active?
"The elite also oppose government redistribution of wealth, favor lower estate tax rates and lean toward supporting cuts in social programs such as Social Security to reduce the deficit, the study found. " - end quote.
Of course. The middle class and working class don't need the money they paid into Social Security like the elite need their money. Most of us wouldn't know what to do with 2 extra bathrooms and 7 bedrooms that no one uses....and we'd have to clean them ourselves, right?
Har har har.
Car elevators for everyone!
How is this news and why was money spent on a study for this? Here's the thing, I went to school so I could make more money than someone flipping burgers. My boss invested more time/money so that he *could* be the boss. Do I think someone flipping a burger who only has a high school diploma (if that) should make what I did when I worked harder to get where I am? No. Do I think I should make as much money as my boss since he invested more time and money into his education? No.
How about I work and keep what I earn. My boss works and keeps what he earns. If you want more than that, there are programs available to people who want to better themselves. I was able to go back to school and the state paid for since they said I had no marketable job skills. There are options other than loans if you're willing to look hard enough for them.
We all exist to serve the 10%.
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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