New federal data on American income trends over the last year:
…the pay of America’s highest earners—74 people who made more than $50 million—more than quintupled on average to a record $519 million each. Those top-end Americans earned a combined $38.4 billion in 2009…
Nationally, the average annual wage fell by $384 to $39,269 and the median wage fell by $253 to $26,261 during the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. The 74 top wage earners together made as much as the combined income of the 19 million lowest-paid people in America, who constitute one in every eight workers.
Another statistic of note: One in every 34 wage earners in 2008 failed to earn a single dollar in 2009.
Sure would be unfair to increase tax rates on the rich.