A Table About This So-Called Recovery That Should Make You Very Angry


September 11, 2013; Washington Post, “WonkBlog”


NPQ has been watching the WonkBlog at the Washington Post and its coverage of economic issues, so here is the big takeaway from the chart below done by Emmanuel Saez at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Paris School of Economics’ Thomas Piketty. It shows at a glance how the wealth gap has widened over the past 20 years.

The elevator pitch is this: Since 2009, 95 percent of income gained has gone to the top 1%. This is in contrast to the recovery under George W. Bush, where 65 percent went to the top 1%, and under Bill Clinton, where 45 percent went to the top 1%. According to the researchers, the income share of the top decile was 50.4% in 2012.

And, by the way, a greater portion of the losses in the last recession were borne by the richest 1% than in the latest.