Jeebus, thought Larry Elliott was better than this:
The share of national income of the richest 1% more than doubled between 1980 and 2008, from 8% to 18%. They make an average of $1.3m in after-tax income, while the poorest 20% take home $17,700.
Oh come on. The most basic thing to know about US poverty and income figures are that they are market incomes. They are incomes before the corrections made by the tax and benefit systems. German or French inequality is very similar to US by market incomes.
The growing gulf between rich and poor became a hot issue in 2011 as a result of the Occupy Wall Street protests, and the latest official figures show things getting worse, not better. Of the 34 rich-country members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, only Chile, Mexico and Turkey are more unequal.
And that statistic suffers from the same problem. The official inequality statistics for the US are of market incomes. The official stats for everyone else are of post tax post benefit incomes. You see some list where the Gini for the US is .45 or whatever, then Sweden at .25. This is comparing before tax nd benefit incomes in one country with after tax and benefit incomes in the other.
This is just nonsense, this is either lying or gross ignorance. That the CIA World Factbook manages to do this just proves my point.
Robert Frank, economics professor at Cornell university says American corporations have forgotten Henry Ford\’s insight: workers need to be paid wages high enough for them to buy the goods they are producing.
And that wasn\’t Ford\’s fucking point either. If it were then Boeing would be in real trouble, eh? Ford wanted to reduce turnover among his workers: he was getting through 50,000 a year in order to have a permanent establishment of 13,500. By paying double the wages of everyone else he reduced his training and recruitment bills. Higher wages actually led to a lower total wage bill.
Freeman, Gilens and Frank said there were policies that could help: full employment, changes to the tax code to make it more progressive; much greater investment in education; reform of campaign financing to break the stranglehold of rich donors.
What would really help is getting a grip on the reality of the fucking numbers. Start counting US poverty the way we count it everywhere else, after the eforts at poverty alleviation, and you\’ll find there\’s an awful lot less poverty in America.