Record high income in 2017 for top one percent of wage earners in US


Record high income in 2017 for top one percent of wage earners in US

Gabriel Black

20 October 2018

In 2017, the top one percent of US wage earners received their highest paychecks ever, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Based on newly released data from the Social Security Administration, the EPI shows that the top one percent of the population saw their paychecks increase by 3.7 percent in 2017—a rate nearly quadruple the bottom 90 percent of the population. The growth was driven by the top 0.1 percent, which includes many CEOs and corporate executives, whose pay increased eight percent and averaged $2,757,000 last year.

The EPI report is only the latest exposure of the gaping inequality between the vast majority of the population and the modern-day aristocracy that rules over them.

The EPI shows that the bottom 90 percent of wage earners increased their pay by 22.2 percent between 1979 and 2017. Today, this bottom 90 percent makes an average of just $36,182 a year, which is eaten up by the cost of housing and the growing burden of education, health care and retirement.

Meanwhile, the top one percent has increased its wages by 157 percent during this same period, a rate seven times faster than the other group. This top segment makes an average of $718,766 a year. Those in between, the 90th to 99th percentile, have increased their wages by 57.4 percent. They now make an average of $152,476 a year—more than four times the bottom 90 percent.

Graph from the Economic Policy Institute

Decades of decaying capitalism have led to this accelerating divide. While the rich accumulate wealth with no restriction, workers’ wages and benefits have been under increasing attack. In 1979, 90 percent of the population took in 70 percent of the…

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