By TERESA TRITCH
Published: July 19, 2006
While the wealthiest Americans are reaping the benefits of the Bush administration’s economic policies, the rest of the nation is being left behind....
The top 1 percent held a bigger share of total income than at any time since 1929, except for 1999 and 2000 during the tech stock bubble. But what makes those disparities particularly brutal is that unlike the last bull market of the late 1990's — when a proverbial rising tide was lifting all boats — the rich have been the only winners lately. According to an analysis by Goldman Sachs, for most American households — the bottom 60 percent — average income grew by less than 20 percent from 1979 to 2004, with virtually all of those gains occurring from the mid- to late 1990's. Before and since, real incomes for that group have basically flatlined.
The best-off Americans are not only winning by an extraordinary margin right now. They are the only ones who are winning at all.