While the U.S. Civil War officially ended in 1865, a trio of researchers from the Washington D.C.-based think tank Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) released a paper asserting that the United States still remains a nation of two countries. The authors wrote, “For the 117 million U.S. adults in the bottom half of the income distribution, growth has been nonexistent for a generation, while at the top of the ladder it has been extraordinarily strong.” The researchers discovered that for the working class, income has actually dropped. In fact, none of the growth from 1980 to 2014 went to the bottom 50%, the study pointed out. Only 32% went to the middle class, while the top 10% reaped 68% of the growth. A full 36% went to the 1% alone. The authors concluded “An economy that fails to deliver growth for half of its people for an entire generation is bound to generate discontent with the status quo and a rejection of establishment politics.” Sounds like exactly the kind of discontent and rejection we’ve seen! Here’s the rather dramatic chart from the CEPR.
A tale of two countries
| April 03, 2017