Apple, Alphabet (parent of Google) and Facebook generated $333 billion of revenue combined last year with 205,000 employees worldwide. In 1993, three of the most successful, technologically oriented companies based in the Northeast — Kodak, IBM and AT&T — needed more than three times as many employees, 675,000, to generate 27 percent less in inflation-adjusted revenue.
Because of rising housing costs and stagnant wages, slightly more than half of all poor renting families in the country spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs, and at least one in four spends more than 70 percent. Yet America’s national housing policy gives affluent homeowners large benefits; middle-class homeowners, smaller benefits; and most renters, who are disproportionately poor, nothing.
At 38 colleges in America, including five in the Ivy League – Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown – more students came from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent ... About four in 10 students from the top 0.1 percent attend an Ivy League or elite university, roughly equivalent to the share of students from poor families who attend any two- or four-year college.
Not long ago most of those companies were owned by armies of individual stockmarket investors—a system seen as both beneficial to business and befitting a capitalist democracy, and as such one that other countries sought to replicate. Private equity’s deployment of chunks of capital from holders of large pools of money has severely dented that model. And this, too, is being replicated abroad. Only half of the world’s private-equity firms, and 56% of their funds’ assets, are American.
It simply is no longer necessary to have a great number of workers making things or performing services to generate billions of dollars in value... Alphabet Inc., owner of Google and the most valuable corporation in the United States today, employs 61,000 workers in the United States; the next most valuable company, Apple, employs 76,000 in country. By contrast, at its peak, General Motors had 618,365 U.S. workers ... Airbnb with a total of 1,600 employees has a market value of over $25 billion.
Apollo and Metropoulos arranged for Hostess to borrow money... The two firms then pocketed about $900 million of that money for themselves and their investors. Hostess, meanwhile, is stuck repaying the debt. This...is known as a dividend recapitalization, and it is a staple of private equity’s money-making strategy. These deals provide private equity firms an opportunity to profit before they even sell a company, an added bonus to the firms and their investors, including public pensioners.
in 1940, a child born into the average American household had a 92 percent chance of making more money than his or her parents ... For children born in 1950, the likelihood of achieving the American Dream had begun to fall but remained very high ... For babies born in 1980 — today’s 36-year-olds — the index of the American dream has fallen to 50 percent: Only half of them make as much money as their parents did.
In 1924, tax rates were cut. The top rate was slashed from 73% to 46%. And the top bracket was reduced to $500,000 of income (again, many millions in today's dollars). The next year--1925--the tax cuts continued. The top rate was slashed to 25%, down from 73% just two years earlier. The highest wage earners--those who made $100,000 and up--got to keep a vastly larger share of their income than they had only a few years previously.
Wealth — the value of a household’s property and financial assets, minus the value of its debts — is much more highly concentrated than income ... the top 3 percent of the distribution hold over half of all wealth ... the share of before-tax income that the richest 1 percent of households receive has been rising since the late 1970s, and in the past decade has climbed to levels not seen since the 1920s. The vast majority of the increase...going to the top 0.5 percent of households
In 1970, the top ten per cent of the population earned a third of the total national income. By 2012, it earned half ... income inequality has grown by record amounts since the 2008 recession: between 2009 and 2012, incomes for the top one per cent of the population rose by more than thirty per cent, while those for the rest of the country...increased by less than half of one per cent. But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed all that much: social discontent stemming from rising inequality.