In the Beginning there was Income

As noted in my last post, I have been playing with income data. I believe that for us to be able to properly understand just where we have been and where we are going, we need to look further back than say the 50’s through Reagan’s time. That is, if the data is around. I view the Great Depression as a defining point in this countries economy, kind of like BC vs AD. I’m not convinced that the 90’s were all that good as far as policy for the masses. Sure we had a boom, GDP went up and the budget was looking better, but the Clinton’s come from the “conservative” or for the rest of the world “neo-liberal” side of economic policy. As much as his time period produced faster growth than the 2 prior presidents and the current one, it was not what we had seen in the past.

At the same time, income inequality rose by more points than through the Reagan/Bush terms. Specifically 4 points in 12 years verses 6 points in Clinton’s 8 years. It is to say, the Clinton’s come from a side of management that is closer to Reagan/Bush than Roosevelt/Kennedy. (This link gives an alternative review of Clinton’s policies.) Thus, to see what true progressive policy results look like we need to go back to a time before Roosevelt and then follow the results going forward to see the changes.

This post is to present the basic info. I will break it out in later posts. I used BEA table 2.1. They were kind enough to include a conversion of disposable income to 2000 dollars. This is why it’s in 2000 dollars. I have found a site that will convert any year to any year and may play there too. I used the ratio for each year to the 4th decimal place to convert the other numbers. This is the chart of the chaining variable as a percentage of the 2000 dollars. (nominal/chained)

I used data from Professor Saez for the share of income. It’s a big file.
This table is of the share of income to the top 1%.

This brings us to the results. First is the nominal.

This is the chained picture.

I’m not going to say anything now. But I do give you these two charts because, well…we’re talking income here. Specifically two groups; the top 1% and everyone else.

Adendum: I apologize for the dates on the charts. They did not transfer well. But, you are seeing each year of each decade starting with 1929. As to the last two charts you are seeing the nominal against the chained in 2000 dollars in each chart. One being the top 1% group and the other being the bottom 99%. They’re in billion’s of dollars.

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