One thing that's interesting, is that in the last 100 years, the very rich did not get that much richer than everybody else.
Russ dissects the chart:
Let’s just look at the bottom 99%, the clear light circles. Put all your biases aside for a moment. Just look at it and try to summarize what you see. I see four different eras. From 1913 until roughly 1940, it’s flat. From 1940 to 1973, it’s rising almost steadily, roughly tripling. Then for 20 years, 1973–1993, it’s basically flat. Then in 1993, it starts to rise but the increases are erratic.I would describe it slightly differently. There was a brief spike up during WWII, then things were roughly flat till around 1950 which is when Income Growth for the bottom 99% started rising steadily.
Russ wonders why the change in 1973:
When the left talks about the middle class being “hollowed out,” or stagnation in the standard of living of average American, they like to blame it on declining unionization, a fraying social contract between business and labor, or the rich hoarding more for themselves and leaving less for the rest of us via tax policy or regulation. But none of these kinds of explanations are likely to explain the sharpness in the change of the rate of growth starting in 1973. Private sector unionization has been declining steadily since 1950. I don’t think the social contract got revised in an especially tough way in 1973. And I don’t think the rich had a big confab in 1973 when they remade public policy. Was there a big change in tax policy or regulation in 1973? If there was, I missed it.His explanation? Well, I'll let you go directly to Cafe Hayek to find out the cause of flattening Income Growth for the bottom 99% starting in 1973.