American Style Oligarchy


Sun, Nov 13th, 2011 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

In this opinion piece in The New York Times, Paul Krugman believes that with the issue of inequality being front-page in the news thanks to Occupy Wall Street and a report by the Congressional Budget Office which documented "a sharp decline in the share of total income going to lower- and middle-income Americans," obfuscators will try to "bring back the blur" by spreading false information.

The budget office report tells us that essentially all of the upward redistribution of income away from the bottom 80 percent has gone to the highest-income 1 percent of Americans. That is, the protesters who portray themselves as representing the interests of the 99 percent have it basically right, and the pundits solemnly assuring them that it's really about education, not the gains of a small elite, have it completely wrong.

If anything, the protesters are setting the cutoff too low. The recent budget office report doesn't look inside the top 1 percent, but an earlier report, which only went up to 2005, found that almost two-thirds of the rising share of the top percentile in income actually went to the top 0.1 percent -- the richest thousandth of Americans, who saw their real incomes rise more than 400 percent over the period from 1979 to 2005.



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