I’m a chart person. I the age of photoshop and tabloids the old 1000 word adage should be updated to charts instead.
Back on 12/28, Steven Rattner summarized politics and our state-of-the-union in 10 graphs. They are: Job growth is strong (200K in 2015), but more are dropping out of the workforce (62% workforce participation – the worst since 1978). Workers are not maintaining productivity gains that they had been and compensation is lagging way behind this minimal productivity gains – as it has since the 1970’s.
Income changes from 2006 to 2014 have only gone to the top 10 percent with the bottom 10th percent losing 13% of their base 2006 income!
I’ll stop on this graph to emphasis this. Here it is with data from the Census Bureau.
Remember, these are income gains, which only add to the wealth disparities that are the underlying problem. Lookit, I’m a financial dunce and for those like-minded people out there – income = yearly gains wealth = total accumulated property. So the chart above summarized the gains (and losses) of our population based on the amount of income they make each year. Mother Jones’ chart below, one admittedly that I use quite a bit, summarizes the wealth differences of each income bracket. This time the income brackets are separated into 5 groups (bottom 20% of population based on income, 20 to 40%, etc).
And for those of you, like me, who understand things best when explained verbally (with added charts), here is a video I found recently from 2012 which describes the chart above brilliantly.
“The reality in this country is not at all what we think it is”and we’ve got a bunch of work to do to re-create America’s middle class, a group which should be doing much better than it is in the world’s richest nation. Guess we’ll have to continue the work we’ve begun in 2015 and before in 2016 and forward.
This is why this struggle will take action and participation from the ground up and over time. We have to beat money which has permeated our political system.
For news on the buying power of money and how it continues to bend our laws to benefit the wealthiest, check out the NYT “Buying Power” series.
Other NYT stories in the Buying Power series…
Another that may be soon: