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New Record: Richest Americans Took Half of All Income in 2012

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Posted on Sep 11, 2013
Risastla (CC-BY-SA)

A new study has concluded that the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans have never in the last century taken a larger slice of the income pie.

The New York Times via Wonk Wire:

The top 10 percent of earners took more than half of the country’s total income in 2012, the highest level recorded since the government began collecting the relevant data a century ago, according to an updated study by the prominent economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty.

The top 1 percent took more than one-fifth of the income earned by Americans, one of the highest levels on record since 1913, when the government instituted an income tax.

The figures underscore that even after the recession the country remains in a new Gilded Age, with income as concentrated as it was in the years that preceded the Depression of the 1930s, if not more so.

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Unemployment during this recovery period has remained a vexing problem, and more and more Americans are simply giving up, the numbers show.

The one bright spot for the 99 percent—that wages went up 1 percent last year—is eclipsed by the staggering good fortune of the top 1 percent, whose wages swelled by 20 percent.

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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