Eric Wieffering has covered Minnesota's economy and business community for more than two decades. His column appears two to three times a week, including Sunday.

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Defining the 99% - and the 1%

Posted by: Eric Wieffering under Business trends, Investing, The economy Updated: October 26, 2011 - 1:18 PM

 Here's what's behind some of the "We Are the 99%" ire:

Growth in Real After-Tax Income from 1979 to 2007

The data and charts are courtesy a new Congressional Budget Office report.

So that everybody knows what we're measuring: After-tax income is income after federal taxes have been deducted and government transfers—which are payments to people through such programs as Social Security and Unemployment Insurance—have been added.

For those who prefer to read words vs. interpret charts:

CBO finds that between 1979 and 2007:

  • For the 1 percent of the population with the highest income, average real after-tax household income grew by 275 percent (see figure below).
  • For others in the 20 percent of the population with the highest income, average real after-tax household income grew by 65 percent.
  • For the 60 percent of the population in the middle of the income scale, the growth in average real after-tax household income was just under 40 percent.
  • For the 20 percent of the population with the lowest income, the growth in average real after-tax household income was about 18 percent.

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