Good old days
Krugman discusses Thomas Piketty's new book on capitalism in his blog post today (apparently in anticipation of a much longer review) and concludes with this interesting chart:
[T]he GOP is more and more a party that consistently, indeed reflexively, supports the interests of capital over those of labor. But why?
Well, one thing you might imagine would be that the party was responding to a change in society — aren’t more and more Americans asset owners, for example through their retirement accounts?
And the answer is no. In fact, the concentration of income from capital in a few hands has risen sharply. Tucked deep inside the CBO report on trends in the US distribution of income are data on the concentration of various types of income; here’s the one percent’s share of capital income:
The promise of the 401k just has not materialized for the vast majority of Americans who just don't have the kind of money that makes investing in the markets worthwhile. I'm sure there are some people who start very young and manage to make it work for them and others who make good wages and have job security might be able to accumulate enough wealth to allow their money to grow for them. But for the most part, this just isn't a very practical plan for average people.
But if you have money, these are the good old days.