The sad saga of the superrich

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.

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report, our slice of the pie in 2009 was the smallest it’s been in a decade, so your protest about inequality is out of date.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.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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