Sunday, February 22, 2015

The inequality follies

In their lust to raise taxes, politicians and the media have been rooting over the concept of "income equality" for the past few years. Now the New York Times has discovered -- oh, my goodness! -- that Inequality Has Actually Not Risen Since the Financial Crisis. Indeed, it has fallen! In case you can't get past the paywall (you're allowed ten free articles a month), here is the crucial graph, showing how incomes have fallen and to a lesser extent risen since the economic meltdown of 2007:


So it turns out that, after all, the richer you were in 2007, the worse you fared in 2009, with your income nearly halved. The top 1 percent (the favored meme of the envious) fared slightly better than the very rich, while the top 10 percent (what I regard as affluence) did only slightly worse than the mass of us, and indeed in 2012 actually did slightly better.

The figures of course top out in 2013 and therefore don't account for the stock market boom of 2014 and (so far) 2015.

(And we are of course all a bit poorer than we were when Dubya was president. And, as it has been since the beginning of time, the rich are still richer than the rest of us.)

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