There is more evidence today that the Bush administration’s economic policies are widening the gap between the rich and the poor.
University of California at Berkeley professor Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Picketty of the Paris School of Economics released two studies this week, one looking at income and another looking at tax policy. The bottom line: Under Bush, the rich aren’t just getting richer. They’re making a killing.
How much so? As The New York Times reported Thursday, the nation’s richest 300,000 Americans make as much money as the bottom 150 million. Calculations based on 2005 tax data, the latest available, average incomes for people among the bottom 90 percent of Americans that year declined 0.6 percent, while the incomes of those in the top 10 percent increased about 14 percent.
And that is not just a one-year blip. Since 1970, based on data posted on Saez’ website, while the annual average wage, adjusted for inflation, increased 15.2 percent between 1970 and 2005, the average wage for the nation’s top 100 CEOs in that period increased a whopping 2,193 percent.
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