Inconvenient truth: the distribution of income in the U.S. is basically the same as it was a quarter-century ago—and the middle class has gained ground over the last decade...If this is true, why might some want to make claims about income disparity--claims that are unsupported by data? I wonder....
In other words, most of the reported rise in income disparity since 1979 had already occurred by 1986, and there has been no significant trend since then.
There’s more. From 2000 to 2009, tax filers with adjusted gross income of at least $500,000, who represented the top 0.5 percent of all returns in both years (similar in spirit to the CBO report, which looks at the top 1 percent of households), saw their average adjusted gross income decline by 15 percent and their average after-tax income decline by 11 percent. All other filers—the 99.5 percent—saw average increases of 15 percent in AGI and 17 percent in after-tax income. The middle class has not “lost ground” over the last decade.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Ah, the things you can do with statistics: