Most Unsurprising Headline of the Year

Via the AZ Republic:

The pay gap between the richest 1 percent and the rest of America widened to a record last year.


Last year, the incomes of the top 1 percent rose 19.6 percent compared with a 1 percent increase for the remaining 99 percent.


But since the recession officially ended in June 2009, the top 1 percent have enjoyed the benefits of rising corporate profits and stock prices: 95 percent of the income gains reported since 2009 have gone to the top 1 percent.

That compares with a 45 percent share for the top 1 percent in the economic expansion of the 1990s and a 65 percent share from the expansion that followed the 2001 recession.

The Federal Reserve is pumping over a half trillion dollars of printed money into inflating a bubble in financial assets (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc).  It should be zero surprise that the rich, who disproportionately get their income and wealth from such financial assets, should benefit the most.   QE is the greatest bit of cronyism the government has yet to invent.

(yes, I understand that there are many reasons for this one-year result, including tax changes that encouraged income to be moved forward into last year and the fact it was a recovery off of a low base.  Never-the-less, despite decades of Progressive derision for "trickle down" economics, this Administration has pursue the theory that creating an asset bubble that makes the rich much richer will in the long term help the economy via the "wealth effect.")


  1. MingoV:

    The richest people had a big income jump because they sold stocks to avoid the increased tax rate on capital gains.

  2. mesaeconoguy:

    As always, policies designed to help lower- and middle-income people wind up harming them.

    This never stops the left from causing maximum damage, which they are doing now, irreversibly.

  3. Craig Loehle:

    Since "poor" is vaguely defined, it is hard to know how the inequality gap is measured by people, but it is worth noting that if "poor" means an income close to zero, there will always be someone making close to zero income such that any increase in overall wealth will necessarily make the "gap" wider even if the median income is rising.

  4. Nehemiah:

    That is true, but as Warren says, QE has been a home run for Wall Street. Seniors have had the return on their money market accounts crushed. Many have moved into equities, but they won't know to get out in time so the carnage will be spectacular. Wall Street will know when to get out. Their contacts at the Fed will clue them in well before the s__t hits the fan.

  5. Sam L.:

    Start saving up now to buy your tickets next year for the Sixth Annual Tour of The Summer Of Recovery!

  6. Sam L.:

    The left hates, hates, hates(!) the middle class.

  7. vallemike:

    One thing that these sorts of articles never mention is the fact that all of our lives are marked by a series of choices we make from the time we begin school. Those choices each of us make guide the determination of the lifetime earnings we'll have. If you believe that some cannot possibly succeed because of the poor school they attend, that can only be so if not one single student at that school has ever been successful. We are a product of our decisions. Ongoing poor decision making (lack of studying, drug use, criminal behavior, etc.) results in low, or no, income. Too many of us are trying to blame our failure on someone else's actions other than our own.

  8. irandom419:

    I'm in the top 1% of the world as most Americans with any iota of training are, but the higher minimum wage is eroding that.

  9. NL7:

    I googled it and the Daily Mail claims it's $34k to be top 1% income earner, globally. Which no doubt understates all the underground/shadow/black-market sources of income in the world.