Notes From a Gilded Age

In the department of dog-bites-man news, the NYT reports: At the Very Top, a Surge in Income in '03.

Excerpt: After falling for two years, the share of income going to the richest slice of Americans - the top tenth of 1 percent - grew significantly in 2003 while the share going to 99 percent of Americans fell, tax data released yesterday showed. At the same time, the effective income tax rates paid by the top tenth of 1 percent fell sharply, declining at more than 10 times the rate reduction for middle-class taxpayers, the new report, by the Internal Revenue Service, showed...

The I.R.S. data tend to understate incomes for those at the very top because of different rules for reporting wages and capital gains, meaning the actual disparity was larger than the official data show. Other data show that among major world economies, the United States in recent years has had the third-greatest disparity in incomes between the very top and everyone else. Only Mexico and Russia, among major economies, have greater disparity. (End)

Third place? America in third place? By God, we'll just have to try harder! If we can't beat corrupt oligarchies like Mexico and Russia in the corrupt oligarchy stakes, then for god's sake what kind of corrupt oligarchy are we? Come on, people!