A glaring sign of a broken system
"In 1992, the 400th richest person in America made $24 million.
In 2007, the 400th richest person in America made $138 million (or $87 million, inflation-adjusted).
Now, that almost certainly wasn't the same guy. There's a lot of churn at the top of the money pyramid. In all of the 1990s, only 25% of the Fortunate 400 made more than one appearance. But the overall message is the same. The rich keep getting richer.
According to the IRS, which recently released 2009 data from the 400 richest individual income tax returns, the real runaway growth in wealth has come from capital gains. In the last years of the bubble, the "Fortunate 400" made nearly half their income from capital gains (a.k.a.: profit from the rising value of an investment, such as stocks or property) and less than 10% of their income from old-fashioned wages."
In other words instead of adding something of value and substance to society, the only way to gain wealth was to swindle it from some sucker who thought they were going to get rich the same way. And then we wonder why our economy is not growing. We wonder why the markets are so volatile. "The rich create jobs" Yea right. What jobs? Investment brokers? Accountants to lower their effective tax rates to 15%. Bankers to handle their offshore accounts?
Oh and lets not forget that capital gains tax rates were lowered over this same period. Our economy is suffering a death from 1000 cuts. And our political leaders are holding the razor blades.