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It’s at this time of the year that generous, big-hearted Americans reach out to aid the less fortunate among us – like those who’ve recently been knocked down by the recession and seen their incomes plummet. I speak, of course, about our nation’s severely-squeezed millionaires.
Yes, many in the infamous one-percent class are no longer feeling like a million bucks. According to a new federal report, the income of these high-living swells averaged a robust $1.4 million in 2007, but after Wall Street crashed in a heap of greed late that year, their average income took a tumble. In 2009, it fell below the millionaire threshold, leaving these poor rich folks struggling to make it on an average income of only $957,000.
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Also, talk about getting a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking, the share of our nation’s total income taken by the one-percenters fell from a whopping 23 percent in 2007 to a mere 17 percent two years later. How sad for them, huh? The only balm for their little financial ouchie is they are using it as a rebuke to the 99-percenters of the Occupy Wall Street protests. See, say the rich, waving the federal report, our slice of the pie in 2009 was the smallest it’s been in a decade, so your protest about inequality is out of date. “Get a time machine,” one front man for the Koch brothers barked at the Occupy movement.
Okay, but let’s travel back only a few short years in time to 1980, when the top one-percent was very happy to pocket a meager 10 percent of all of America’s income. And, by the way, today’s one-percenters have had big income gains since 2009, while the 99 percent have lost income. So the Occupiers are right – the inequality is increasing – yet, shamefully, those who’re back making a killing want America’s hard hit majority to feel sorry for them!
“Top Earners Not So Lofty In the Days Of recession,” The New York Times, December 13, 2011.