Wisconsin Budget

Wealth of State’s Top 1% Rises 120%

While other 99% of state residents saw a combined 4% increase since late 1970s.

By , Wisconsin Budget Project - Jun 24th, 2016 02:48 pm
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Click on the charts to launch interactive data tool.

Click on the charts to launch interactive data tool.

Prosperity in Wisconsin is not being widely shared.

The incomes of the very richest have increased dramatically, while the incomes of everyone else have stagnated. Since the late 1970s, the income of the top 1% in Wisconsin has increased by 120%, while the income of the remaining 99% has increased just 4%.

The increasing level of income inequality acts as a drag on Wisconsin’s economic growth. Wisconsin families and businesses can’t thrive when all the income growth goes to the very top. For Wisconsin’s economy to be on a solid foundation, everyone needs to benefit from increases in productivity.

The data feature above shows the outsize gains in share of income and total income for the highest earners in Wisconsin. You can use these charts to explore how the incomes of those at the very top have increased dramatically, while the incomes of the remaining 99% stayed flat.

For more information on how growing income inequality is hurting Wisconsin, read our new report, “Pulling Apart 2016: Focus on Wisconsin’s 1%.”

The new “Pulling Apart” report – which is authored by the Wisconsin Budget Project and COWS, using data from the Economic Policy Institute – includes data on inequality in all 72 Wisconsin Counties and also a set of recommendations for achieving stronger and more equitable growth in our state.

5 thoughts on “Wisconsin Budget: Wealth of State’s Top 1% Rises 120%”

  1. Jason says:

    I totally agree 95% of all income growth has gone to the top one percent since Obama has been in office. Globalization has its flaws.

  2. Jeff Jordan says:

    Jason, please put down your right wing radio talking points handbook and look a little deeper into the history of this issue. The gap between the ultra-rich and the rest of us started back in the late seventies and early eighties. It was during this period, we abandoned a progressive tax rate system and started to believe in Friedman’s “free market or supply side economics”. This explanation may be too factual for you, but for many of us,
    it’s a more honest evaluation than simply blaming Obama.

  3. WashCoRepub says:

    “… we abandoned a progressive tax rate system…”

    Huh? When was this? What tax system are you operating under, because the one I operate under, is still distinctly ‘progressive,’ meaning rates increase markedly in steps as earned income increases.

    I advocate for a true ‘flax tax’ system as the only fair system, so I’d be pretty thrilled if it passed at some point and I missed it.

  4. Fat Dude says:

    What’s a “flax tax”? a tax on flax seed? What about sesame, pumpkin, or sunflower seed? It’s not fair to tax only one kind of seed!

  5. wisconsin conservative digest says:

    The last ten years we have seen the working people lose net worth, salaries, jobs while the top wealthy has really prospered from all of these deals. Brexit is one symptom, Trump, Sanders another.
    The GOP has ignored them and the Dems have screwed them. They need to learn from the Clintons how to leverage their offices.
    Obam’s policies have benefitted the wealthy and a little, free phones tot he lower classes. he had tor aide billion dollars fro campaigns and to do that he sold us out.
    Walker has done lots for middle class. Froze tuition, lowered property taxes and income taxes plus paid off the Doyle mess without wrecking he schools. We have more teacher uno for fewer students than when he came in.
    We have seen theocracies, of the donor class, develop in DC and Madison that can look out for themselves like the dumb trolley and the billionaire Bucks arena deal, while the working people cannot afford tickets to the place.
    Sad to say Wisconsin has few really wealthy people. We are mostly groups from the lower middle class to upper middle class. WE do not have oil or any major sources of wealth.
    By beating up on lots of these people, they have gone south and established domicile in non income tax paying states. My folks, not wealthy, with small income added $5,000, per year, to income by going to Texas. We cannot lose these people And for some stupid reason people demonize them while other governors want to encourage them.
    The dumb, liberal, male ,racists that control Milwaukee fail to comprehend their stupid polices and their effect on Milwaukee, which has been disastrous.

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