The Triumph of the 1%

Colin Gordon at Dissent summarizes new national income statistics for America's wealthiest, something that seems likely to worsen under Trump. Since Reagan, the US has been been edging toward income share levels not seen since before World War II.


The election of Donald Trump, and the daily infliction of another huckster, ideologue, paranoid, or unrepentant one-percenter cabinet appointment, has upended the politics of inequality. The defining issue of our time, not an insignificant source of Trump’s victory, is disappearing from the national political radar. So it is dismally appropriate, in the days between the appointments of Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development and Andrew Puzder at Labor, that Thomas Piketty and colleagues have released updated and revised estimates of the share of national income going to top earners.

The Triumph of the 1% (Dissent)

Notable Replies

  1. The article summary on Dissent...

    By all indications, the incoming administration is not just indifferent to the root causes—growing wage inequality, financialization, the collapse of progressive taxation—but eager to double down on all of them.

    Now, come on. Let's give this"government" a chance. Still some weeks away from...[..gag!!!] Trump's inauguration. I'm told that we're going to be pleasantly surprised. Really...that's what someone just offered me over some Christmas party egg nog. I needed another spike of the good stuff for that.

  2. Partly. But also tax increases to pay for the war, and full employment from mobilisation of the entire population, which led to wage increases as workers were in high demand.

    Case in point:

  3. Which correlates quite nicely with those salary charts from the story. Correlation is not causation of course, but it plays into the narrative I formed during the Reagan years about taxes being one of the largest influences on where salary increases go, so I'll hold onto it from now.

  4. For all that we talk about the strong mid-century American middle class being the result of the devastation the war brought upon every other industrial nation, a lot of the post-war economic anomaly was also deliberately engineered. The tax policy changes brought about by Reagan and maintained by Third Way Dems has played a significant role in hastening the current contraction of the middle class.

Continue the discussion

6 more replies