- New custody law for equal time for dads begins today; some question law's relevance (8/28/16)5
- Former alt-rock frontwoman tells how she found Christianity (8/29/16)2
- Ex-Southeast student gets probation for placing homemade sex video on porn site without woman's knowledge (8/24/16)13
- Bootheel lawmaker seeks probe into crop damage by illegal herbicide spraying (8/24/16)1
- Local priest met Mother Teresa, will attend canonization (8/31/16)
- Jackson girl stays planted on the farm (8/28/16)2
- Wal-Mart theft probe yields drug charges against woman (8/31/16)
- Newsmakers 2016: Liz Glastetter (8/15/16)
- Scott City School District introduces new preschool program (8/26/16)1
- Cape police: Illinois union president hit woman in head with rock (8/28/16)3
The distribution of wealth
Paul Greenburg in his column of Dec. 11 states that the distribution of American wealth is the same as it was 20 years ago, or even 60 or 80 years ago. He goes on to cite a Congressional Budget Office report and says that every quintile of American income has shown a real increase in purchasing power of at least 18 percent over the past 30 years.
Mr. Greenburg appears to be referring to the October 2011 CBO report on trends in the distribution of household income between 1979 and 2007. This report states that the 20 percent of the population with the lowest income had an 18 percent increase in its after-tax income during this period of time.
However, it also shows that the 1 percent with the highest income had a 275 percent increase in its after-tax income. Additionally the highest 20 percent of the population had a 65 percent increase in its after-tax income. By comparison, the remaining 80 percent of the population only had only a 40 percent increase in its after-tax income.
In summary, this CBO report states that "the distribution of after-tax household income in the United States was substantially more unequal in 2007 than in 1979: The share of income accruing to higher-income households increased, whereas the share accruing to other households declined."
This would appear to contradict the statement that the distribution of wealth in this country remained the same over the past 20 years.
JOHN PIEPHO, Cape Girardeau