The top one percent are throwing a pity party

Perkins explained the plight of the super rich in a letter to The Wall Street Journal: “I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘1%,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American 1%, namely the ‘rich.'” Yes, he compared complaints about income inequality to the murder of Jews. He apologized and in the same interview talked about his “underwater airplane” and a watch worth “a six-pack of Rolexes.” Sounds rough.

In defense of Perkins’ letter, the Journal editorial board accused liberals of “personal vilification” for criticizing the out-of-touch rich. But Perkins and his ilk have brought that on themselves with their self-pitying meltdowns. They and their GOP enablers seem convinced that the disproportionate compensation of a sliver of the population is just the “American way.”

Not so. You have to go back to the 1920s to find today’s concentration of income among top earners. Between the late 1940s and early 1970s, incomes grew at roughly equal rates for all Americans. Top dogs were paid more, but within reason. Today, the ratio of CEO pay to average worker pay is 273-1. In 1965, it was 20-1.

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