By JERRY WOLFFE
The top 1 percent in Michigan took home 25 times more than the bottom 99 percent in 2012, according to latest analysis published Monday by the Economic Policy Institute for the Economic Analysis and Research Network.
Researchers Estelle Sommelier and Mark Price update their analysis of IRS data to show inequality is rising throughout the United States.
Between 1979 and 2007, the top 1 percent of taxpayers captured an increasing share of income in every state. While incomes at all levels declined as a result of the Great Recession, income growth has been lopsided since the recovery began.
From 2009 to 2012, top 1 percent incomes grew faster than the incomes of the bottom 99 percent in every state except West Virginia. In Michigan, the top 1 percent captured 82 percent of income growth in the period following the Great Recession.
“This is clear evidence why the economic recovery has not been felt by most families in Michigan -- only those who were already doing well,’’ said Gilda Z. Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy. “ Our lawmakers should look to this as they create the next budget. They should resist more tax cuts so that Michigan can help struggling families and grow the skilled workforce we need.’’
The study’s authors calculate how much income is required to be in the top 1 percent in each state. In Michigan, it is $300,750 per year. Nor is this a recent phenomenon. Lopsided income growth is also a long-term trend. Between 1979 and 2007, the top 1 percent in Michigan took home all of the total increase in state income.
Jerry Wolffe is the writer-in-residence and advocate-at-large for the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center. He can be reached at (586) 263-8950.