Before and after 1979

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a nice short analysis of the most recent IRS data (.xls file) from Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez.

The best graph in the report shows that the inflation-adjusted income for the bottom 90 percent and the top 1 percent grew at about the same pace between the end of World War II and the end of the 1970s. But, from roughly 1979 on, the average income of the top 1 percent skyrocketed, while the average income of the bottom 90 percent barely budged.

CBPP graph of Piketty and Saez IRS data from WWII to 2008

Source: CBPP graph of IRS data from Piketty and Saez

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