The United States of Inequality
Economic inequality in America has been steadily increasing for three decades. Since the recession, only the very rich have made out well. Now, we have data on the individual U.S. states where the class war is being lost most severely.
A new study from the Economic Analysis and Research Network breaks down our nation's recent economic inequality numbers on a state-by-state basis. The numbers on a national level are bad; the numbers on a state-by-state level are also bad. The situation is bad everywhere. That is the short takeaway from this report, for you busy executives!
But if you're curious where inequality is more bad, you may be interested to learn that—while the rich have captured the majority of income gains since the Great Recession throughout the country—in about a third of the country, the top 1% got all—all!—of the income gains between 2009 and 2012. Specifically, in Florida, California, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and a dozen other states.
Another awful and more long-term finding: between 1979 and 2007 (just before the recession) in Alaska, Michigan, Wyoming, and Nevada, only the top 1% saw their incomes grow, while the entire bottom 99% saw their incomes fall. That is spectacularly depressing! Twenty eight years of doom!
One more bit of historical perspective: between the time of the Great Depression and the beginning of the Reagan era—from 1928 to 1979—"the share of income held by the top 1 percent declined in every state but one." From the Reagan era to the latest recession—from 1979 to 2007—the complete opposite has been true. There has been "a rise in every state in the top 1 percent's share of income."
(We need to raise taxes on the rich.)