A recent update to a research paper by University of California, Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez has found that income inequality is worse than it has ever been in the United States:
As of 2007, the top decile of American earners, Saez writes, pulled in 49.7 percent of total wages, a level that’s “higher than any other year since 1917 and even surpasses 1928, the peak of stock market bubble in the ‘roaring” 1920s.‘”
Beginning in the economic expansion of the early 1990s, Saez argues, the economy began to favor the top tiers American earners, but much of the country missed was left behind. “The top 1 percent incomes captured half of the overall economic growth over the period 1993-2007,” Saes writes.
Commenting on the numbers in the updated report, Nobel laureate economist and New York Times Paul Krugman writes, “they’re truly amazing.”