Sunday 19 November 2006

The Rich get Richer and the Super-Rich get envied

A recent study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington reported that while the percentage change in average real household income between 1990 and 2004 was an increase of 57% for the top 1 percent of American taxpaying households (with a annual income of $940,000 in 2004), it was 85% for the top 0.1 percent, and 112% for the top .01 percent. That is, the richest are getting richer almost twice as fast as the rich.

An article in the NYT outlines how this is leading to resentment by the bigger and poorer group, the "lower uppers" which consists largely of professionals (doctors, lawyers, management consultants, most Wall Street execs), for hedge fund managers and some astronomically paid C.E.O.’s who are seen to be undeserving of the huge amounts they receive.

It's difficult to feel sorry for the "merely rich" though - in the same time period the percentage change in average real household income was an increase of 2 percent for the bottom 90 percent of American households.


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