The 99.9%

The fact that the really, really rich are the ones who have been so disproportinately benefiting in recent years is not exactly news, but Derek Thompson’s post is about as succinct a summary of the issue as I’ve seen.  This chart is really pretty astounding– it’s not even so great to be in the top 1%.  After that, though…

It turns out that wealth inequality isn’t about the 1 percent v. the 99 percent at all. It’s about the 0.1 percent v. the 99.9 percent (or, really, the 0.01 percent vs. the 99.99 percent, if you like). Long-story-short is that this group, comprised mostly of bankers and CEOs, is riding the stock market to pick up extraordinary investment income. And it’s this investment income, rather than ordinary earned income, that’s creating this extraordinary wealth gap.

Now, I don’t know what the solution to this is, but I’m going to suggest that the status quo in this matter is definitely not a good thing.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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