The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released data indicating that the American worker's share of the national income has sunk to a record low. In an article published by Yahoo, Zachary Roth actually put it that the workers' share has "plummeted," and, looking at the following chart on the subject, prepared by the St. Louis Fed, that is clearly a more apt description.
As Roth pointed out in his article, the decline began after 9/11 in 2001 and continued through the Bush years, accelerating significantly during the current economic decline that began in December, 2007.
It is not surprising that the wealthy enjoyed a rapid rise in their share of the national income during the recent recession and its continuing aftermath. They were unusually prepared for it with large cash positions going in, and the government bailouts in 2008 and early 2009 didn't hurt their overall liquidity one bit. The short story is they capitalized big time when the mother-of all-rummage sales in the financial markets took place in the spring and summer of 2009.
And, guess what? They have even more cash today, and it appears that we may be setting up the booths for another rummage sale to take place next year or even earlier. It's not a major leap to assume that the greedy ones have convinced themselves that any temporary reduction in their assets that might occur will be well worth the investing opportunities that will become available. And, after all, history strongly suggests that the markets will eventually recover and, when that happens, they - with their new investments - will have gobbled up another large piece of the income pie.
However, they tread on a slippery slope. A Brookings Institution report published in the 1930's concluded that one of the causes of the First Great Depression was a similar transfer of income and wealth. And, at that time, it took 25 years for the stock market to recover to the level that existed prior to the crash that initiated the depression.
It is imperative that those of us who live along Main Street come to the realization of what is happening in our economy. A close look at the above chart should be a very compelling start in this respect. It would then be even more important to identify the political problems that have allowed the situation to fester, as it has, and root them out like the cancers they are.
Time is running out.