Income Disparity And Wealth Consolidation Show Eerie Resemblances To 1928

Our guest blogger is Robert Gordon, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

When you’re not checking the stock market today, check out Emmanuel Saez’s recently updated tables on income inequality. Here’s an interesting table:

Look at incomes for the top 1% of earners — the solid black triangles. You’ll see that in 2006, their share of the nation’s income (22.9%) reached its modern peak. The only year higher? 1928.

Another table shows that the top 10% in 2006 took a bigger share (49.7%) than at any point since 1917. The year 1928 was the runner-up.

Let’s hope that 2006 and 1928 don’t end up looking similar in other ways. If they do, it will be a good reminder that growth needs to be shared not just because it’s right, but also because it’ll last longer.

Robert Gordon