Although the U.S. economy enjoyed record growth during the last 10 years, no one reaped the benefits like America’s elitist.
Earnings for the richest fifth of U.S. families jumped 15 percent between 1988 and 1998, as opposed to less than a 1 percent increase for the poorest fifth, according to a report released Tuesday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute.
Income for the richest families rose an average of $17,870 to $137,480, more than 10 times that of the poorest sector, whose income rose only $110 to $12,990 during the same period.
“The benefits of this (economic) growth have not been evenly distributed,” said Elizabeth McNichol, one of the reports authors. “The incomes of the poor and middle class have fallen or stagnated.”
McNichol attributed the wage disparity to the success of the stock market over the last two decades, which favors wealty investors and lower-paying service jobs that have replaced manufacturing jobs.
The income gap narrowed in just three states during the ten-year period — Alaska, Louisiana and Tennessee.