That’s because the gains are going to the rich, the losses are creating even more poor.
And even the business press is starting to notice:
Business Week 08/08/2005 (Story links open in new windows)
"The Rich Get (Much) Richer
"The top 1% take a fatter slice now than at any time since the 1920s
"Hooray for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal for returning the problems of class in America to the front page. Shame on the rest of us, passive witnesses to the emergence of a second Gilded Age, another Roaring Twenties, in which the fruits of economic success have gone not to the broad populace but to a slim sliver at the top.
"We can debate a lot of economic data but not income inequality. Every serious study shows that the U.S. income gap has become a chasm. Over the past 30 years, the share of income going to the highest-earning Americans has risen steadily to levels not seen since shortly before the Great Depression.
"Economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez calculated [pdf] (using data from the Internal Revenue Service, hardly a hotbed of partisanship) that the share of income going to the top 1% of households nearly doubled, to 14.7% in 2002, up from a low of 7.7% in the early 1970s.
"[T]he share of the top 0.01% — the 13,000 or so households with an average income of $10.8 million in 2002 — has multiplied nearly four times." [Business Week 08/08/2005]
The trend continues and seems to have accelerated since 2000. Here’s how another leading business publication describes it:
The Wall Street Journal 08/31/2005
"Recovery Bypasses Many Americans
"Despite Economic Growth, Median Household Income And Wages Fell Last Year
"Although the U.S. economy grew robustly last year, the income of the median household slipped a bit, wages of full-time workers fell, the number of Americans living below the poverty line rose and more Americans went without health insurance, the Census Bureau said in its annual report on consumer income.
"The snapshot suggests that the recovering economy, while adding jobs and showing productivity gains since the recession of 2001, isn’t paying dividends to everyone.
Last year, 37 million Americans were living in poverty, about 1 million more than the year before and 5.4 million more than in 2000 when poverty bottomed out as the economy peaked." [The Wall Street Journal 08/31/2005]
But "the economy" is doing very well [Corporate Profits Rise Sharply The Wall Street Journal 09/01/2005].
Why is this happening? Uncontrolled globalization, huge and untenable tax cuts for the wealthy, and a very non-partisan display of greed by your elected representatives, manipulating tax breaks and subsidies for deep-pocket special interests. (In 2000 there were 16,342 registered lobbyists in Washington, DC; today there are 34,785.)