The Economic Policy Institute has, for many years, published a very useful annual volume detailing “The State of Working America.”
This year, it has created a State of Working America web page to make it easier for people to access its many (more than 200) charts on various economic and social trends, including income, jobs, poverty, productivity, unionization, access to health care, economic mobility, wealth, and more. It is well worth checking out.
There is also an interactive chart, When Income Grows, Who Gains, that “tracks income trends from 1917 through 2008 and lets users compare patterns of income distribution for any period within that 91-year time frame. Between 1986 and 2000, for example, the richest 10% of Americans saw 77% of the country’s average income growth, but in recent years they have captured much more. Between 2000 and 2007, all of the country’s income growth went to the top 10%, while average incomes for the lower 90% actually declined.”
If current policies remain in place one can only imagine a continuation, if not sharpening, of these income trends. And given that President Obama has appointed William Daley, a former banker for JP Morgan Chase, as his chief of staff, and Jeffery Immelt, CEO of General Electric, as head of his outside panel of economic advisers, there is little reason to expect anything else.