Income gap becomes gaping chasm: Bush says the economy is "turning a corner." Thing is, for most Americans, what's around that corner isn't so nice. A new story by the AP paints a grim picture of today's economy. Chief among the findings is the fact that the gap between rich and poor is widening at an alarming rate. Consider:
- The wealthiest 20 percent of households (a group that in 1973 accounted for 44 percent of total U.S. income) now controls over 50 percent of the income. Households in every other income group saw earnings fall.

- The middle-class tax burden "has grown since 2001, even as it has fallen for high-income Americans. The top 20 percent of taxpayers shoulder almost a percentage point less of the overall share of total federal tax liabilities. The combined shares of middle-income earners for federal tax liabilities have risen almost 2 percentage points."

- 2.6 million Americans have lost jobs since Bush took office, but a million have been rehired, mainly to jobs with lower pay and fewer benefits. Temp agencies account for about a fifth of all new jobs.

- Three in five of those jobs--that's 60% of them--pay below the national median hourly wage of $13.53. The current average weekly wage in the US--$525.84--is at the lowest level since October 2001.

- Sales of luxury items are booming, with Porsche reporting a 17 percent spike this year.

1 comment:

Paul Schmelzer said...

Here's the local--i.e. Minnesota--take on similar news: