In 2012, “our 0.1 percent household made about 206 times, and our 1 percent household about 41 times, what our average household did. That gap has yawned over time. In 1990, for instance, the same multiples were 87 and 21. In 1980, they were 47 and 14,” the New York Times reports.
What are the causes? “Executives seem to have managed to co-opt passive corporate boards to extract fatter and fatter compensation packages, for one … Earnings have also taken off toward the stratosphere in the world of finance, helping account for much of the rest of the rise of the 1 percent … The higher a household is on the income scale, the more likely it is that a big chunk of its earnings come from investments rather than wages.”