Rich Getting Richer

Financial Justice Ideas and Issues Personal Writings

Lisbon        The end of 2007 saw even more recognition of the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

    The poorest 20% of Americans (the bottom quintile) got a bit richer in the years 2003-2005, according to recently released figures by the Congressional Budget Office.  In fact, the poorest have a good deal of dough and were worth $383.4 Billion in 2005.  All of these figures are based on tax returns, as well as social security benefits, welfare, food stamps, some of the value of Medicare and other benefits adding up to “comprehensive income.”  The increase in income for the poorest 20% was a about $200.00 per household or 1.3%.  

    Of course the increase in income during the same period of the richest 1% at the top of the heap alone dwarfed the total income of the entire bottom fifth.  The rich increased their take by $524.8 Billion (+141.4 Billion!).  The 1.1 Million households at the top raked in $1.8 Trillion or 18.1% of the total income of all Americans.  (Keep in mind that we discussed just the other day that there are over 303,000,000+ so this top 1% is only a shade more than 3M people distributed across these 1+ million households.)  In 2003 the same folks only had 14.3% of the income for all Americans so they had a sweeeettttt two years in the kind of sun you will never see on your scrawny butt!

    The rich just get there first and fastest.  The little 1.3% bump at the bottom is a 42.5% leap at the top 1%.  The 2nd quintile went up 10.1%, the middle did 4.3% increase, and the forth quintile did 2.7%.  Pretty much the further you were from the bottom, the faster you moved up the income ladder!

    The Budget Office also let us all know that not only did the rich make more, but thanks to the largesse of the Bush Administration and the Congress, they also paid less taxes.  That’s fair, huh?

    No wonder that low and middle income Americans feel like they are working harder and simply not getting ahead, but running in place on the rat maze.  They feel that way because that’s the way it is.

    Just keeping it real!