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The top 1%: We’re back on track, baby November 12, 2018

Posted by Tomboktu in Inequality.

I missed this two weeks ago.

Brian Nolan has crunched the most recent data on incomes in Ireland, for 2015, using updated technical details which don’t change the findings much. His (five-page) paper is here: https://wid.world/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/WID_METHODOLOGY_NOTES_2018_2_Ireland.pdf.

The graph below shows the proportion of the total income that the top one percent received. (Despite the apparent smoothness, data does not exist for every year between 1938 and 2015.) The last time the top one percent were taking such a large share was probably before 1943. (The before 1975, the next year for which there is data is 1943, and before that it is 1938. The smooth lines between those data points may be inaccurate wand would be better represented with dashed lines to show the long period of interpolation.)

In particular, the share they took in 2015 was higher (just) at 11.5% than the share they took in 2006, just before the crash (11.3%).

(The interactive version of the graph is here: https://wid.world/country/ireland/)


1. Pasionario - November 12, 2018

Interesting that income inequality was even higher at the end of the 1930s, despite a decade of FF in government.


Tomboktu - November 13, 2018

Would that have been sufficient to have resulted in inequality lower than today’s?

It was the era of the Great Depression and of Dev’s Economic War with Britain, not of the four freedoms of the EU, of ‘the best little country in which to do business’, or of complex financial derivatives.


2. GW - November 13, 2018

But they’re worth it, aren’t they?

And so intensely lovable.

A bas les aristos!


3. Joe - November 13, 2018

Kill All the Gentlemen. What a great slogan :).


Tomboktu - November 13, 2018

There is an interesting essay over on Jacobin at the moment that examines the question of whether we should care about inequality



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