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December 13, 2021

One per cent not as wealthy as they once were: report

Pity the one per cent.

Indeed, it hasn’t been the kindest of stretches for the super-rich, what with their wardrobe downsizing and unshowered protestors waiting at the door of their downtown offices.

It’s been tough, sure, and with reports that income inequality keeps growing, the wealthy keep getting less popular.

But hold on a second. Hold on just a second!  By numbers from a new report, the one per cent had just as rough a downturn as you or I did.

Okay, well, the stakes were a bit different for the super-rich when the recession hit, but from a percentage standpoint, the affluent lost plenty just the same.

*Bing: What is Canada’s average salary?

According to U.S. federal tax data, the top one per cent of American earners saw their average income fall from $1.4 million in 2007 to a paltry, unliveable $957,000 in 2009.

Of course, much of that hit was due to the stock market crash, and analysts claim much of the liquidity was recovered in 2010, but the recession’s effects nonetheless reshuffled how much wealth that fated one per cent group holds.

In 1980, if we look back, only about 10 per cent of the U.S.’ pretax income went to the top one per cent of the country’s earners. By 2000, that share had grown to about 22 per cent, before slumping back to 18 per cent by 2003.

When 2007 hit, the report notes, the nation’s one per cent accounted for a peak of 23 per cent of all American earnings. By 2009, it shrunk to 17 per cent, a level not seen in more than a decade.

“It’s very interesting that this has become such a big topic now when the numbers are back to where they were in the 1990s,” Steven Kaplan, an economist at the University of Chicago’s business school, said about the recent Occupy movements protesting the rich.

“People didn’t seem to be complaining about it then.”

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...