Economic Inequality In The USA (In One Comprehensive Chart)

Tyler Durden's picture

Inequality – long ignored – is now centre stage in debate about economic policy around the globe. As Tony Atkinson and Salvatore Morelli note, the 2007-2008 collapse of the global financial system and the subsequent economic downturn/debt crises have acted as a catalyst for growing anxiety around the increasing dispersion of incomes within most advanced economies. In an effort to show that "we are not 'all in it together'", the two professors have created The Chartbook of Income Inequality.

As the chart below shows, the acute loss of job prospects, especially among the young, the credit crunch and the austerity measures implemented by governments to contain the sovereign debt crisis have all put extra burden on the shoulders of the lower and middle classes.



Income Inequality In The US...


Summed up


And the huge interactive version...


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VD's picture

thx to QE (vs econ productivity/fundamentalz)!

A Nanny Moose's picture

BB10 + BES12...only DoD approved mobile computing platform. A far more intelligent choice (computing-wise) than iPhail. Let's see if they can translate that into profits.

Discloser: Do not own BBRY. Have owned in the past. Do use a BB10 phone, and I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last nite.

AldoHux_IV's picture

in a FRN reserve currency world, we are all in together-- the only thing that fools people: relative gains

NOTaREALmerican's picture

Just another pinko hippy post from someone who hates Merica, and the troops.

LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT HIPPY, and get a goddamn job!

tickhound's picture

Damn grandpa, ain't been no hippies around for centuries, man.

But Luddite on with your Nam flashbacks.

Incubus's picture

goddamn commie cocksucking socialist.

You ain't succeeding cuz you ain't trying hard enough, son!


I'm gonna walk myself down to the nearest walmart and get a job and get a financed for 30 years on a house and buy a brand fuckin new car just to prove my point.  Go back to pinkoland with your anti-american bullshit.



Weisshaupt's picture

When they start charting income vs. Hours worked or money risked in investment I will give a darn. Until then its a bunch of envious monkey screaming about how they deserve more of a pie they did nothing to help create or make.  A whole lot of animals wanting the bread the little Red Chicken made. 

We can talk about equality of income only when we talk about equality of value. You provide little value to others, you can expect little money in return. 



NOTaREALmerican's picture

Re:  When they start charting income vs. Hours worked

So, by that "logic", inherited wealth has no social value.

Nice work you commy.

trader1's picture

not a commy, just vitriolic.

we love us some inheritance taxes.

Incubus's picture

I think I'm hearing a song coming out of this:  "Mommy was a commy..."



stopthejunk1's picture

Sounds like your own income may be on a shaky moral basis.  Otherwise why would you be defensive on behalf of the rent-seeking rich?


There is plenty of "work" being done that creates no wealth, but instead only apportions a greater and greater share of existing wealth to a smaller and smaller number of people.  

This is what causes massive wealth and income inequality.  It is called rent-seeking behavior, and involves massive corruption and collusion with government, as well as antisocial behavior like what we routinely see from Wall St. and the banks.


Sorry, but regardless of how many hours you work, it is simply not possible for one human being to be worth hundreds or thousands of times more than another, regardless of how our (current) economic system distributes rewards.

RichardParker's picture

Perfect excuse for even more expansiom of central gov. and class warfare

A Nanny Moose's picture

Especially when government has been Edewkayting the future generations. Would government edewkayshun ever portray government as evil? FFS, the biggest tyrants in our history are deified.

McMolotov's picture

Have there been periods when overall inequality fell for a sustained period? Yes, from 1929 to 1945.

So the good news is we can fix this inequality thing with a massive depression and a world war.

stopthejunk1's picture

Inequality only declined during the Great Depression because of the massive destruction of wealth at the top.  Not because the downtrodden were being lifted up or helped in any way.


Also, the war probably helped to speed up the recovery because it was essentially a massive public works project (something you'll note that conservatives and libertarians appear to oppose, for unknown reasons.)  But GDP growth in 1936 had already recovered to 1929 levels, and by the time we entered WWII, GDP had grown another 50% over 1929 levels.  Most of that went to the top income brackets, just like it does today.

AdvancingTime's picture

Millionaires and Billionaires, a term often used by President Obama, screams "I have an agenda", the way he uses the term is both offensive and a simplification. Only a crazy person or someone with very little knowledge of money or wealth would think that linking, comparing, and putting the two into the same class has merit.

Over the years the value of the American dollar has dropped. Across America and the world there are millions of working class millionaires. They do not have private planes or servants, they worry about their financial survival and many work far more hours then the average American worker. More about the real problem in the article below.

Spastica Rex's picture

"Across America and the world there are millions of working class millionaires."


Are there billions of working class billionaires as well?

stopthejunk1's picture

Sorry, AT, but the rent-seeking behavior of the rich is not "working."  It does not create new wealth.  It simply apportions a larger share of existing wealth to a smaller and smaller group of people.

This is the primary function of Wall Street, the banks, and the uber-rich.

Also, by definition, the petite bourgeoise are not part of the "working class," even if they do have a job. "Working class millionaire" is an oxymoron.

Yen Cross's picture

   I feel old! 1980's charts?  Listen closely Junior Spaldings/   $1trillion of debt was but an twinkle in Eves' eye.

 Telepromptor in charge has succeeded in destroying credibility,and marketability of the United States franchise for just over the next 10 years.

  This isn't about war!  Every war is won before it's fought!

kellycriterion's picture

The Great Impenetrable Income Inequality Mystery.

That is, as long as you ignore history and logic. Ya know, the people who take vs the people who make.

The government side of the OPM mafias effected a huge ramp in their engines of corruption and consumption from the mid 60s to the mid 70s. Then the banking cartel side did the same from the 90's to the present.

But wait! Organizations and individuals didn't just lay down and die. People want to survive and yes even prosper. The vast majority of people are gonna play regardless of the rules. Or at least until it gets really, really bad.

Blame game to the rescue.

kurt's picture

Thanks for making this INCOMPREHENSIBLE.

The injustice will mitigate when they reduce gasoline to 2.65 per gallon. That's what killed retail. Also we have to give regular savers 6% like they give a noodle house worker in China. A noodle house worker can get 6% interest on his savings in china. End the Fed.

Get dual citizens out of power and out of electioneering and ESPECIALLY out of NSA/CIA. Seriously, to work for America you're going to have to take a side or get your nose out of our business.

No more agenda 21 and beware TPP. Pure evil. Beware the NeoMalthusians: they are and want to kill you.

Handful of Dust's picture

The 'Little People' are sweet in their own way. Bless them.

no more banksters's picture

A more simple model in favor of the 1%

Maximum possible equality on the base - chaotic inequality in total and the extinction of middle class

stopthejunk1's picture

Not shown:

the top 5% of Americans hold over 90% of the financial (non-home) wealth.  

This trend has been getting worse since the 1960s.  American's wealth inequality is the most severe of any advanced country, worse even than oligarchical Russia.


Income is not nearly as important as wealth, especially when the rich have so much wealth that they don't even need to engage in wealth-creation (i.e., work) in order to have an enormous income from rents.

oldschool's picture

Income inequality is not a problem per se.  It may be a symptom of a problem, but it is not a problem. 

As a symptom, it can have very unpleasant effects, but that too is an important distinction most fail to make.

Lots of people are coming up with the wrong answers because they don't understand, or are intentionally perverting, the right questions.