New York's surreal planet inhabited by the Muffie Potter Astons and their tiny shivering dogs is getting more populated. According to the Census Bureau, the richest 5% of Manhattan households, those who earn an average of $864,394, increased their income by 9% from 2012 to 2013, making them 88 times richer than the poorest 20%, the largest income gap in the country.
“The recovery seems to be going to those at the top, much more than those in the middle, while those at the bottom may even be losing ground,” Queens College sociologist Andrew Beveridge tells the Times.
In 2009, there were 817 New Yorkers who made more than $10 million annually. By 2011, the most recent tax data available, there were 1,160.
How could the rich be doing so well? Didn't Governor Cuomo say we needed to cut corporate and estate taxes to protect them? Mustn't we never, ever go back to those days in the long long ago, when the highest earners were taxed on more than 80% on their income, and people used cassette tapes?
The wealthiest New Yorkers are benefiting in part from the rise of the financial industry, including hedge funds and investment banks, which has helped lift the income of the most affluent households to levels reached before the recession. The recession lasted roughly from 2007 to mid-2009.
Median household income rose from $51,640 to $52,223, but that is still below what it was in 2008. Hispanics fared the worst, earning a median income of $36,196, slightly lower than blacks.
The poverty rate remained steady at 21%. Nearly half of all households in New York spend 35% or more of their yearly income on rent.