We kind of knew that, didn't we? We pretty much have it figured out that America's unleashed capitalism and undertaxed capitalism is ruining us. Now we just have to figure out a way to turn this around.
According to the IRS, which recently released 2009 data from the 400 richest individual income tax returns, the real runaway growth in wealth has come from capital gains. In the last years of the bubble, the "Fortunate 400" made nearly half their income from capital gains (a.k.a.: profit from the rising value of an investment, such as stocks or property) and less than 10% of their income from old-fashioned wages. The average income of a top-400 earner grew by 650% between 1992 and 2007 to a whopping $344 million. Over that time, the average salary barely doubled. But the average capital gains haul increased by 1,200%. How do the richest get richer? Not from their wages. From their investments. ...Derek Thompson, The Atlantic
The way I look at it, unless you're a member of that 400, you don't earn enough to invest enough to make your income soar like that. And -- have you noticed? -- the top 400 don't really want you in their group. They'd like to sell you stuff, including dicey loans that make their banks plenty of money but leave you in the street.
Yup, it's the investment bankers, not so much lawyers, doctors, and real estate moguls.
My guess is that the top 400 skews toward finance and chief exec even stronger. ...Derek Thompson, The Atlantic
You're scornful of the Occupy movement? Don't be. They have a point.