November 13, 2007
New Treasury Department Study on Income Inequality
The Wall Street Journal reports that income tax data from 1996 to 2005 show that nearly 58% of all filers in the poorest income groups in 1996 had moved into a higher income category by 2005. This means, of course, that other had moved down as well. This is a stunning show of wealth mobility in the United States. There is other evidence that the gains are not equally distributed by race however. The other bit of news is that the median income of all tax filers had increased a whopping 24% real dollars (adjusted for inflation) in the time period. The lowest quintile filers had median income increases of 90% and the highest quintile filers had gains of 10%; the richest 1% actually lost 25% of their income. Data often gets in the way of a good heart wrenching populist appeal.
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