Half the population of the US has slipped into poverty or is barely making enough to get by.
How much will you need for medical expenses in retirement? What does it cost to keep 2.5 million Americans behind bars? Here are a few facts and figures that might surprise you.
1. Recovery for the rich, recession for the rest.
Economic recovery is in rather limited supply, it seems. Research by economist Emmanuel Saez shows that the top 1 percent has enjoyed income growth of over 11 percent since the official end of the recession. The other 99 percent hasn’t fared so well, seeing a 0.4 percent decline in income.
The top 10 percent of earners hauled in 46.5 percent of all income in 2011, the highest proportion since 1917 – and that doesn’t even include money earned from investments. The wealthy have benefitted from favorable tax status and the rise in stock prices, while the rest have been hit with a continuing unemployment crisis that has kept wages down. Saez believes this trend will continue in 2013.