Our Economy Is Like a Dangerously Unbalanced Lifeboat Waiting to Capsize

Says here that 93% of the income gains over the first year of our ongoing economic "recovery" went to the top 1% of earners. Everyone okay with that? *Swivels head briefly* Great. Let's all keep moving in this direction—together.

New housing construction is surging! :) But Americans on Social Security are going to get one of the smallest benefit increases in decades. :| And the broke ass US Postal Service can't even borrow a buck any more. :( And if you'd like the economic knowledge necessary to weave all of these bits of news into a coherent theoretical framework, you'll have to into crushing student debt. :$ Since you can't afford that, you're stuck with the framework that you read about on some disreputable—but free—blog.

The good news is that even the most august economic institutions in the world, from the OECD to the IMF, agree that America's gross levels of inequality are actually making this economic recovery worse than it would be in a more equal society, and jeopardizing everyone, like an imbalanced lifeboat, so if you wanted to, I don't know, tax the hell out of the rich in order to help balance the scales, well that might actually be beneficial. (SOME EDITORIALIZING in previous sentence.) From the NYT:

The recession seems to have cemented the country's income and wealth inequality, not reversed it. The top 10 percent earn a larger share of overall income than they have since the 1930s. The earnings of the top 1 percent took a knock during the recession, but have bounced back. In contrast, the average working family's income has continued to decline through the anemic recovery.

Also, not that it's important or anything in a free society such as ours, but the wealthiest 1% of households have significantly more wealth than the bottom 90% of households, here in America, land of the free. It's worth it, of course, because the status quo is completely irrelevant, as is the reality of life for the majority—the only relevant thing is that people be given absolute freedom to pursue unfettered and unending wealth without regard to need or fairness or common sense. That's just the price you pay for freedom. (All of your money.)

[Photo: Gerry Thomasen/ Flickr]