Friday, September 13, 2013

Study Says Rich People Got Way Richer Last Year, But the Rest of Us ... Not So Much

If you’re not looking to get depressed quick, fast, and in a hurry, don't read this article about a recent economic study showing (among other things) that in 2012, the top ten percent of earners took home more than half of the country’s total income. Regular folks saw their incomes rise a paltry one percent.

(Well, as a member of the "regular folks" group, I think this is depressing.)

Experts say that the tax structure and the stock market have contributed big time to the gap. However, I’m no economist, so I invite you to read this article by Matthew O'Brien for his analysis of the situation. Meanwhile, I do understand this—the government has instituted certain policies for the purpose of promoting a “trickle down” effect that hasn’t quite caught on.

Earlier this month, Melissa Francis, host of "MONEY with Melissa Francis" asked whether the huge disparity between CEO and worker pay mattered. On her panel were Forbes Media Chairman Steve Forbes, Wall Street Journal Assistant Editor James Freeman, and’s Jonathan Hoenig. They each said, “no,” it doesn’t matter, and CEOs are paid a premium because they’re worth it.

Forbes added “The real crisis for this economy is not CEO pay, it’s the fact that we’re not creating good jobs. And that lands right at the desk of the US government and their taxes regulations dollars policy, not to mention Obamacare and the cost that’s imposing on companies.”

Again, I’m no economist, but I’m having a hard time getting my head wrapped around this statement (and so I welcome comments from any reader who knows more than I and can help me out) because if the government’s policies are so terrible, then why are companies making so much money and therefore in a position to pay CEOs so well?

Seriously, I’d like to understand this a little better, because right now it sounds like some folks are just spouting nonsense to justify the status quo, and I know that can’t be right.

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