Relative is what matters

America’s Surprising Views on Income Inequality

As a whole, the population of the United States is wealthier today than it has ever been. But, as has often been reported, the relative increases haven’t been uniform. In 1970, the top ten per cent of the population earned a third of the total national income. By 2012, it earned half. According to estimates by Emmanuel Saez, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, income inequality has grown by record amounts since the 2008 recession: between 2009 and 2012, incomes for the top one per cent of the population rose by more than thirty per cent, while those for the rest of the country—the bottom ninety-nine per cent—increased by less than half of one per cent. ….[READ]