New data on what it means to be part of the 99 percent who aren’t in with the in crowd:
The top 1 percent of earners in the United States saw their average household incomes grow a whopping 279 percent from 1979 to 2007, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study (PDF) published this week.
For the lowest earners, what the CBO described as the poorest fifth of America, average incomes grew just 18 percent in that same period. The middle class — comprised of about three-fifths of Americans — saw incomes grow about 40 percent.
Those figures should be enough to enrage virtually all of the 99 Percent protesters demonstrating in nearly every major U.S. city for the last month, who see themselves as being the forgotten segment of society and wish to highlight the nation’s growing income disparity.
All told, the gap between rich and poor in America more than tripled in just under 30 years, marching in line with government policies that have increasingly tended to rely on regressive taxes on the poor and working classes, and less on taxing the top earners.