Posts Tagged ‘chart’


Laura Meckler, as if to confirm my analysis of political change in 2016, explains,

Mr. Sanders’s surprising success—and Mrs. Clinton’s travails—highlight how far the party has moved leftward since her husband, former President Bill Clinton, steered it to the center in the early 1990s.

The Republican Party, meanwhile, has veered to the right.

Polls illustrate the shift in both parties. In 1990, just 13% of Democrats called themselves “very liberal,” while 12% of Republicans identified as “very conservative,” according to Wall Street Journal/NBC News polling. By last year the number was 26% for Democrats and 29% for Republicans. . .

Anger mounted during the Obama years over growing income inequality, particularly after Wall Street bailouts rescued some of the country’s richest people while many Americans struggled financially in a tepid job market.

Statistics explain voter fury. The top 3% of households had more than twice as much wealth in 2013 as the bottom 90% put together, according to the Federal Reserve. The top 400 taxpayers’ share of U.S. income doubled in two decades, according to the Internal Revenue Service. While top incomes rose, every other group was stagnant. . .

“Here’s a guy who owns the label of socialist. It’s inconceivable that a major candidate would have done that prior to Occupy,” Mr. Varon said. “Occupy gave a new prestige to a set of ideas that were normally considered quite marginal.”. . .

“In the last 30 years, when people say to me, ‘Bernie you’re coming up with these ambitious ideas. How can you afford them?’” Mr. Sanders told the crowd at a campaign rally Sunday. “The answer is in the last 30 years, there has been a massive transfer of wealth from the pockets of working families to the top 1/10th of 1%. And we can afford these programs because we’re going to transfer some of that wealth back.”


The typical American has no idea how much corporate CEOs make—but they still believe CEOs are making much too much.

That’s according to a new study from researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (pdf):

Public frustration with CEO pay exists despite a public perception that CEOs earn only a fraction of their published compensation amounts. Disclosed CEO pay at Fortune 500 companies is 10 times what the average American believes those CEOs earn. The typical American believes a CEO earns $1 million in pay (average of $9.3 million), whereas median reported compensation for the CEOs of these companies is approximately $10.3 million (average of $12.2 million). . .

The vast majority (74 percent) of Americans believe that CEOs are not paid the correct amount relative to the average worker. Only 16 percent believe they are paid an appropriate amount.

Even more:

Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of Americans believe that there is a maximum amount CEOs should be paid relative to the average worker, regardless of the company and its performance. . .

Those who believe in capping CEO pay relative to the average worker would do so at a very low multiple. The typical American would limit CEO pay to no more than 6 times (17.6 times, based on average numbers) that of the average worker. These figures are significantly below current pay multiples, which are approximately 210 times based on recent compensation figures.

Chart of the day

Posted: 4 February 2016 in Uncategorized
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As Alvin Powell explains,

One measure of American inequality is the percentage of the nation’s overall wealth owned by different parts of the population. The graphic above shows that the richest 20 percent of the country owns 88.9 percent of the nation’s wealth, while the bottom 40 percent owes more than it owns.

Chart of the day

Posted: 1 February 2016 in Uncategorized
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This is the extent to which private companies profit from nearly every function of the U.S. criminal legal system.

No one should profit off of putting or keeping people behind bars. And now it’s clear how much of our system is influenced by private companies, which are driven by profit to keep or even expand existing services.

Chart of the day

Posted: 29 January 2016 in Uncategorized
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It’s not just stock market turmoil. Capitalist growth is clearly slowing—and the downturn in the Purchasing Managers Index (as calculated by Markit) suggests weak growth in the months ahead.

Worries about financial market volatility, the impact of slower growth overseas, a downturn in the energy sector and uncertainty about higher interest rates all took their toll and set the scene for further weakness in coming months.


Chart of the day

Posted: 16 January 2016 in Uncategorized
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since the crash of 2007-08, real wages have declined for the bottom 85 percent of workers (outside of a small bump for those at the very bottom of the pay scale) but increased in real terms for those in the top 15 percent (especially a few percentages at the very top). (The vertical axis shows real wage decline or growth, and the horizontal axis indicates percentages of the wage distribution.)

This picture of pay inequality lends support to other studies (e.g., by David Autor [pdf]) that find positive wage growth among highly paid jobs but wage stagnation among jobs with lower pay.

Since most of those whose wages have increased (CEOs, financial executives, lawyers, and so on) are receiving distributions of the surplus produced by everyone else, we can see once again the connection between the worsening conditions of those at the bottom and the growing fortunes of a small group at the top.

2014 9520 100 metro map

In 1967, the sociologist Robert Merton coined the phrase the “Matthew effect” (pdf) with respect to rewards in science, drawing on a verse in the Gospel of Matthew: “Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them” (New International Version).

A new study by the Brookings Institution [ht: ja] confirms just how accurate the Matthew Effect is as a way of describing what has transpired in major U.S. cities and metropolitan areas during the past seven years.

We all know that household income inequality in the United States as a whole is higher today than before the crash of 2007-08. Thus, for example, between 2007 and 2014, the 95/20 ratio nationwide rose from 8.5 to 9.3.

As it turns out, among the 100 largest metro areas, the majority (57) had a significantly higher 95/20 ratio in 2014 than in 2007. They are shown in the map above. Basically, what happened is that most metro areas experienced increases because top incomes were stable or declined slightly over this period, while incomes near the bottom dropped substantially.

Copy of inequality graphics-DJ.xlsx

Indeed, double-digit slides in 20th percentile incomes were quite common across large metro areas. High-income households earned significantly less in 2014 than in 2007 in 33 of the 100 largest metro areas, but the same was true for low-income households in fully 81 of those metro areas. Many of the metro areas experiencing the largest inequality increases also ranked among those with the highest inequality levels in 2014, such as Bridgeport, New Orleans, San Francisco, Boston, and New Haven.

The increase in inequality in major U.S. cities and metropolitan areas both contributes to and reflects growing inequality across the country as a whole.

Perhaps we need parables to focus our attention on this growing gap. But we need real economic changes to eliminate it.