Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Income Growth Chart Illustrates An Unfair Economy In U.S.

This chart of income growth is from the Economic Policy Institute. It illustrates just how unfair our economy has become to the bottom 95% of Americans (and especially the bottom 80%).

Note that between 1947 and 1979 the income growth was roughly equal for everyone in our society. It ranged from 2.5% growth among the bottom 20% to 1.9% growth among the top 5% (of course that 1.9% growth was a lot more money because it was a percentage growth of a bigger income). That's OK though, because productivity was being shared throughout all the groups.

Things changed when the Republicans came to power in 1980. They instituted their "trickle-down" economic policy which tilted the economy to benefit the rich more than everyone else. The top 5% continued to earn 2%, but because productivity was no longer being shared among all groups, the income growth went way down for everyone else. The lowest 80% then showed income growth of only 0% to 0.9%, while income for the next 15% grew only by 1.2%.

Then Bush doubled-down on the "trickle-down" policy, and that great inequality resulted in the Great Recession. Since then, only one group has had any income growth at all -- the top 5% (0.4%). The bottom 90% have seen negative income growth of between of 0.5% to 0.1%.

"Trickle-down" economics, which is still being espoused by the Republicans, has been an abysmal failure. It has succeeded in making rich people richer, but at the expense of everyone else. It is unfair, and it must be changed. But it can't be changed as long as the Republicans have the power to veto any change. They still mistakenly believe that making the rich much richer will benefit everyone. It doesn't.

The Republicans must be voted out of power in the coming election. It's the only way to return to a fairer economy -- an economy where everyone is benefitted.

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