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Workers Left Behind - 30+ Years Of Shocking Decline (Chart)

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Income inequality has grown over the last 30 years + driven by 3 dynamics: rising inequality of labor income (wages & compensation), rising inequality of capital income, and an increasing share of income going to capital income rather than labor income. As a consequence, examining market-based incomes one finds that "the top 1% of households have secured a very large share of all of the gains in income--59.9 percent of the gains from 1979--2007, while the top 0.1 percent seized an even more disproportionate share: 36%. In comparison, only 8.6% of income gains have gone to the bottom 90%." A key to understanding this growth of income inequality--and the disappointing increases in workers' wages and compensation and middle-class incomes--is understanding the divergence of pay and productivity. "The big shift is really in the '80s, which I would attribute to Fed Chairman Paul Volcker..."

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