RICH GETTING RICHER….NEWS AT 11….Good news, comrades! Revisions to last quarter’s economic data show that wages and salaries grew faster than initially estimated:
As a result, wages and salaries no longer make up the smallest share of the gross domestic product since World War II. They accounted for 46.1 percent of all economic output in the second quarter, down from a high of 53.6 percent in 1970 but up from 45.4 percent in the spring of 2005.
Boo yah! Sure, compensation is down seven percentage points over the past three decades, but it’s no longer the lowest on record. Go team!
Of course, there’s always a skunk at the garden party, isn’t there?
Joshua Shapiro, chief United States economist at MFR, said that much of the income increase probably went to people who work on Wall Street or for hedge funds. The biggest spike occurred in the first quarter, when financial companies typically pay bonuses. Other data, including Labor Department figures on wage growth and private-sector surveys on consumer confidence, suggested that most families were not receiving pay increases that outpaced inflation.
?If this were more widely spread around,? Mr. Shapiro said, ?we would be seeing it in readings on confidence and sentiment. It tends to indicate this is pretty concentrated on the upper end.?
As Andrew Tobias is fond of saying, it’s a grand time to be rich in America. For the rest of us, at least we get to watch.