The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976. As Timothy Noah of Slate noted in an excellent series on inequality, the United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana.
C.E.O.’s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001. Perhaps the most astounding statistic is this: From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.
That’s the backdrop for one of the first big postelection fights in Washington — how far to extend the Bush tax cuts to the most affluent 2 percent of Americans. Both parties agree on extending tax cuts on the first $250,000 of incomes, even for billionaires. Republicans would also cut taxes above that.
I'd just like to add that the United States is the ONLY developed nation without universal health care, and yet we pay TWICE per capita what citizens of other advanced nations do for our care.
PROGRESSIVE AND LIBERAL POLICIES ARE WHAT AMERICA NEEDS NOW, NOT THIS INSANE SHIFTING OF WEALTH FROM THE MIDDLE CLASS TO THE RICH. THE CONSERVATIVE PROGRAM TO TURN THIS COUNTRY INTO A PLUTOCRACY/THEOCRACY HAS TO BE STOPPED. PERIOD.