By David DeGraw / AlterNet / February 17, 2010
The United States already had the highest inequality of wealth in the industrialized world prior to the financial crisis — and it’s gotten even worse since.
As a record amount of US citizens are struggling to get by, many of the largest corporations are experiencing record-breaking profits, and CEO’s are receiving record-breaking bonuses. How could this be happening, how did we get to this point?
The Economic Elite have escalated their attack on US workers over the past few years, however, this attack began to build intensity in the 1970s. In 1970, CEOs made $25 for every $1 the average worker made. Due to technological advancements, production and profit levels exploded from 1970 – 2000. With the lion’s share of increased profits going to the CEO’s, this pay ratio dramatically rose to $90 for CEOs to $1 for the average worker.
As ridiculous as that seems, an in-depth study in 2004 on the explosion of CEO pay revealed that, including stock options and other benefits, CEO pay is more accurately $500 to $1.
Paul Buchheit, from DePaul University, revealed, “From 1980 to 2006 the richest 1% of America tripled their after-tax percentage of our nation’s total income, while the bottom 90% have seen their share drop over 20%.” Robert Freeman added, “Between 2002 and 2006, it was even worse: an astounding three-quarters of all the economy’s growth was captured by the top 1%.”
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