Social & Political

Income disparity grows like a well-watered bush

This just in from The Washington Post…. Well-Paid Benefit Most As Economy Flourishes:

Wages are rising more than twice as fast for highly paid workers in the Washington area as they are for low-paid workers, an analysis of federal data by The Washington Post shows.

That means the spoils of the region’s economic expansion are going disproportionately to workers who are already well-paid, widening a gap between rich and poor in a place where it is already wider than in most of the country.

Just pointing out the obvious disparity in the Bush recovery with some more hard data. This disparity is related to so many aspects of today’s challenges to our democracy, from how polarized Congress has become to the difficulties of fixing public education, and much more. The Post continues:

…from 2003 to 2005, the average wage for people in the lowest pay bracket, with salaries around $20,000, rose only 5.4 percent in the Washington region — not enough to keep up with rising prices. For the jobs that pay around $60,000, salaries rose 12.4 percent, well ahead of the 6.8 percent inflation in that period.

UPDATE: And, today there is this…. 2005 Compensation For Top-Earning Executives Grew With Stock Option Awards:

It was another banner year for the Washington area’s highest-paid executives.

The median total compensation for the 100 highest-paid executives at local public companies rose 21.2 percent in 2005, to $6.4 million from $5.2 million the year before. While the median salary for that group increased 4 percent, bonuses climbed nearly 14 percent, the value of the typical stock option grant went up by more than 25 percent, and other forms of long-term compensation leapt by a third.

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