Dave Gilson

Dave Gilson

Senior editor

Dave Gilson is a senior editor at Mother Jones. Read more of his stories, follow him on Twitter, or contact him.

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Dave Gilson is a senior editor at Mother Jones. Read more of his stories, follow him on Twitter, or contact him.

Chart: Half of All Income Goes to the Top 10 Percent

| Tue Sep. 30, 2014 5:15 AM EDT

We'll be posting a new chart on the current state of income inequality every day for the next couple of weeks. Our last installment looked at stagnating middle-class incomes.

Today, we look at both sides of the income split and how they've traded places. For the first time in a century, the top 10 percent of Americans control more than half of all income. If this trend persists, predicts economist Thomas Piketty, their share will rise to 60 percent by 2030.

Source: Historic income share: World Top Incomes Database; future trend: Thomas Piketty (PDF)

Illustrations and infographic design by Mattias Mackler​

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Chart: You're Working More But Earning Less

| Fri Sep. 26, 2014 5:00 AM EDT

We'll be posting a new chart on the current state of income inequality every day for the next couple of weeks. Yesterday's chart looked at the history of the 1 percent, from ancient Rome to today.

Today, another look at how middle-class incomes have been stuck in neutral while the rest of the economy has grown. In 2012, the median household income (adjusted for inflation) was the same as it was in 1996.

Sources: Household income: US Census; economic growth: St. Louis Fed; 1 percent: Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty (Excel); corporate profits: St. Louis Fed 

Illustrations and infographic design by Mattias Mackler​

Chart: It's Never Been a Better Time to Be Rich

| Thu Sep. 25, 2014 5:00 AM EDT

We'll be posting a new chart on the current state of income inequality every day for the next couple of weeks. Yesterday's chart looked at how the richest of the rich have enjoyed massive income gains for decades.

But wait, you say, isn't that the way it's always been? Yes and no. It's never been a bad time to be rich in America. But some times have been a lot better. In fact, the best time may be now, especially when you consider the amount of total income controlled by the top 1 percent since colonial times (with ancient Rome thrown in for comparison):

Sources: Rome: Walter Scheidel and Steven J. Friesen; US in 1774 and 1860: Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson; US in 1929-2012: World Top Incomes Database

Illustrations and infographic design by Mattias Mackler​

Chart: Big Gains for the 1 Percent of the 1 Percent

| Wed Sep. 24, 2014 5:00 AM EDT

We'll be posting a new chart on the current state of income inequality every day for the next couple of weeks. Yesterday's chart looked at how the richest Americans bounced back from the Great Recession. Today's chart: How the richest of the rich have enjoyed massive income gains for decades.

Since 1980, the average real income of the 1 percent has shot up more than 175 percent while the bottom 90 percent's real income didn't budge. But as this chart shows, the vast majority of gains have gone to the tippy-top—the 1 percent of the 1 percent.

rise of the megarich

Source: Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty (Excel)

Illustrations and infographic design by Mattias Mackler​

Chart: Happy Days Are Here Again—for the Superwealthy

| Tue Sep. 23, 2014 5:45 AM EDT

With Washington paralyzed on bread-and-butter issues and the midterms ahead, we put together a primer on the state of America's frozen paychecks. We'll be posting a new chart every day for the next couple of weeks. Today's chart: How the recovery left most Americans behind.

The Great Recession officially ended five years ago, but that's news for millions of Americans: A stunning 95 percent of income growth since the recovery started has gone to the superwealthy. The top 1 percent has captured almost all post-recession income growth. Compare that with how they did during these historic booms:

Sources: Boom and recovery gains, 1% gains: Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty (Excel); average household income: Census Bureau.

Illustrations and infographic design by Mattias Mackler​

Photos: Warner Bros; Peter Morgan/Reuters; Christoph Dernbach/DPA/ZumaPress; Steve Jennings/Wireimage/Getty Images; Bo Rader/Witchita Eagle/MCT/Getty Images; Kimberly White/Reuters

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