Il benessere americano dal 1979

BERKELEY – La storia è questa: dal 1979 – il picco dell’ultimo ciclo economico prima dell’insediamento di Ronald Reagan alla presidenza – la crescita economica negli Stati Uniti è stata un fenomeno prevalentemente solo per ricchi. I salari reali (depurati dell’inflazione), i redditi e gli standard di vita delle famiglie americane dei poveri e delle classi medie sono alla meglio solo banalmente più alti. Mentre il Pil reale annuo pro capite è cresciuto del 72%, passando da 29.000 a 50.000 dollari (in base ai prezzi del 2009), quasi tutta la crescita è andata a coloro che ora occupano il livello più alto nella distribuzione americana dei redditi.

Tutto ciò è vero, ma con alcune riserve importanti. La prima è riscontrabile nella Distribuzione dei redditi familiari e delle tasse federali, pubblicata l’anno scorso dal Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Il reddito reale al netto delle tasse per il quintile più basso delle famiglie americane era 49% più alto nel 2010 che nel 1979, crescendo a un tasso medio del 1,3% annuo. Il reddito al netto delle imposte per i tre quintili medi nel 2010 era 40% più alto – pari a una crescita media annua dell’1,1%.

Le famiglie tra l’81° e il 99° percentile hanno guadagnato il 64% di reddito al netto delle imposte, con il top 1% che ha raggiunto il 201%, rappresentando un tasso di crescita media annua del 3,6% – ben oltre qualsiasi altro gruppo di reddito. E, allo stato attuale, con la ripresa concentrata anche tra i ricchi, l’1% più ricco degli americani avrà accumulato con tutta probabilità un guadagno del 300% dal 1979.

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