Some sobering facts by
Growing Income Gap
- Forty years ago, the minimum wage provided 25% more real purchasing power than it does today. In 1968, the minimum wage was $1.60 per hour. $1.60 would buy about $9.00 worth of goods and services today. Today, a person working full time at the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour lives below the poverty line.
- For the past thirty years, virtually all income growth in the U.S. has been captured by the top 10% of income earners, while the average real income for the remaining 90% has not changed for 30 years.
- In 2009, the average non-supervisory worker earned $18.62 per hour. However, in 1972 the real purchasing power of the average real non-supervisory wage was the equivalent of $20.20 today. Thus, in the past 27 years, the value of our income has declined.
- The productivity of the average worker rose more than 100% over those 37 years. Thus, workers have taken a pay cut, despite producing more than twice as much.
- The top 10% percent of income earners in the U.S. earned 50% of all U.S. income in 2007, more than the top 10% did in the “Roaring Twenties.”
- The top 1% of U.S. income earners took home about 25% of all income in 2007.
Growing Wealth Gap
- In 2007, the top 20% of wealth holders in the United States held 85% of all wealth.
- The median household’s wealth, (including home equity), was only $43,600 in 2007.
- Median wealth (including home equity) for Hispanics or Blacks was only $500 and $400, respectively
- The top 20% holds 93% of all financial wealth (stocks, bonds and other savings).
- The top 10% of wealth holders own 93.3% of all business equity.
- Roughly 10% of the population owns just about all of the productive capacity of the U.S.
- The top 1% of wealth holders owns 63% of all business equity (i.e., 1% of the population owns two-thirds of the private sector).