Let’s start here, US Real Annual Income Growth from 1993-2008, data from Emmanuel Saez, Professor of Economics, University of California:
From 1993 to 2008, incomes grew 1.3% in the US. The income of the bottom 99% of Americans saw an income growth of .75% over those 15 years. The top 1% saw growth more than 5 times that rate, 3.94%.
Of all growth in those 15 years, more than half, 52%, was captured by the top 1% of incomes.
The economic growth of the US has been siphoned off by the super-rich.
That statement is fully justified by numerical, verifiable data. When this is pointed out, those who squawk “class warfare” are rightly afraid it could start one.
Given that, now this.
Thomas Friedman is a columnist for The New York Times. According to Wikipedia, he lives in an 11,400 sq ft house on 7 1/2 acres in Bethesda, Maryland. He is paid $50,000 per speaking engagement.
This is from Thomas Friedman’s column today in The New York Times:
We are leaving an era where to be a mayor, governor, senator or president was, on balance, to give things away to people. And we are entering an era where to be a leader will mean, on balance, to take things away from people. It is the only way we’ll get our fiscal house in order before the market, brutally, does it for us.
Friedman approvingly quotes Atlanta’s new mayor, Kasim Reed:
“The bottom line is that for the country to do and to be what we have been … there must be a generation tough enough to stick out its chin and take the hit.”
Friedman, who no doubt belongs to that 1% coterie which siphoned off more than half of the income growth over the past decade and a half, has this advice for you, the other 99%:
Suck it up.
Suck it way up. We’ve got your money, we stole it fair and square, and let’s all talk calmly now. We don’t want to piss you off enough that you would resist our coup and try and get it back.
A tip of the hat to karoli’s post today, at Crooks and Liars: What planet do they live on?