Richard J. Eskrow
Five years after the financial crisis, it's become increasingly
apparent that the government didn't rescue "the economy." It rescued the
wealthy, while doing far too little for everyone else.
That didn't happen by accident. Our government's response was largely
designed by -- and for -- the wealthiest among us, and it shows. Here's
one highlight from a new analysis: The highest-earning Americans saw
their income rise by nearly one-third in a single year, while the needle
barely moved for 99 percent of us.
This post-crisis inequality is amplifying an ongoing wealth grab
which was already decimating middle-class and lower-income Americans.
Recovery for the Rich
New figures on wealth inequality from
economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez show that the top 10
percent earned more than half of our nation's income. That hasn't
happened since they started tracking these figures a century ago.
What about the bottom 99 percent? After being left out of the
post-crisis boom, they finally saw an increase in their earnings last
year -- but it was only a paltry one percent.
By contrast, income for the top one percent rose twenty percent. And the really rich, the top 0.01 percent, saw their income soar by more than 32 percent.