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« Why Humans Triumphed: Economic Lessons | Main | More Employees Quitting--Good News for the Economy, Maybe Bad for Your Business »

May 24, 2010

Comments

jerry

Comment #1: It seems strange to me that you refer to the 50s and 60s as "the dark days", when your first two graphs show that the economy was the healthiest it's ever been during those same days.

Comment #2: What fraction of the population was in that 90% bracket? It's like less than 1%. Even if ALL of the "wives" in that bracket didn't work during "the 90% days", and then ALL of them started working during the later days, you wouldn't even be able to see that change on your employment graph.

An alternative, perhaps more plausible explanation is:
Lower tax rates on the ultra-rich (as demonstrated by your graph), in conjunction with other policy changes, lead to an increase in the concentration of wealth at the top income levels (e.g. http://www.econ.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2007.pdf). Since there was less wealth available at the "average" levels as a result of this, many of the "wives" in the much-more-populous lower income brackets (i.e. not "the 90% bracket" at all) were FORCED to go to work, in order to maintain their standard of living (or maybe even survive).

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