Here are a few numbers to mull over:
Between 2002 and 2006, the wealthiest 10 percent of households saw more than 95 percent of the gains in income. The nation’s 15,000 richest families doubled their annual income, from $15 million to $30 million. And in that same period, corporate profits shot up 68 percent – more than five times the growth seen in the overall economy.
In contrast, the families at the center of the income spectrum saw their incomes shrink by 1 percent over the same time period. In 2000, the average weekly earnings of production and non-supervisory workers (70% of the workforce) amounted to $527 (in current dollars). Six years later, their wages have risen a mere $11. That translates to an annual income of $27,248 to $27,976, or an additional $728 per year.
What did the richest among us do with their doubled income? Did they buy stuff? Did they create jobs? Not much and no. Consumed goods didn’t radically change from 2000 to 2006. Job creation was the lowest since the Great Depression under Bush. The rich hoard their money. The rest of us use it to make the economy work. And it’s actually worse than that. That doubling of income was money Bush and his Con-buddies borrowed. The rest of us are going to pay interest on top of that principle for a very long time to come. It behooves us to remember these tidbits as the right-wing Cons attack Obama’s economic policies.