In news that will surprise almost no one currently trying to occupy Wall Street, a new government report shows that the income of the top 1% is larger than ever and continuing to grow.
According to a new Congressional Budget Office report released on Tuesday, since 1979 the average, after-tax income of the top one percent of American households has risen 275 percent. Meanwhile, for the poorest one-fifth of the country, it's gone up just 18 percent. And for the biggest slice of "middle class" America -- the three-fifths of homes between the top and bottom 20% -- incomes have risen just 40%.
All those numbers are inflation adjusted and only brings the data up to 2007, before the crisis that led to our current great recession.
The report also underlines how the good times of the last 30 years were good mostly for the wealthiest among us. The top 1 percent receives about 17 percent of all income in this country, a number that has doubled since 1979.
Again, the new data is not shocking, but could provide a boost of energy and momentum to the Occupy Wall Street protestors that faced increased resistance in recent days, especially outside New York. Police in Oakland, Atlanta, and Chicago clashed with protestors yesterday, while residents of downtown Manhattan are growing weary of the drum circles that have plagued them for weeks.
Between the tear gas, the coming winter months, and the our wandering attentions spans the movement will soon be reaching a critical point where disappointment and a lack of energy could drain it of any life. This is a healthy reminder for the 99% of why they were so mad in the first place.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.