In Vermont, that’s rich


None of this is new, in fact a lot has been written lately about the increasing gap between the rich and the rest of us: income inequality. But since Vermont is entering into another round of state budget cutting maybe it is time for a quick refresher on income inequality.

So how’s it goin’ for Vermont’s top one percent of income earners — the group that yet again will likely be spared an income tax increase this year?

This map detail of the Northeast shows how much income it takes to be in the top one percent of income earners by state. [Entire map here]

The amount of income shown for Vermont, $349,000, is only the entry level income to this exclusive group (VT’s one percenters’ minimum wage). In 2011 the average income for a Vermont one-percenter was $705,000.

And it keeps getting better at the top in Vermont. Between 2009 and 2011 Vermont was one of 33 states in which the top one percent captured between half and all income growth.

Nationally since the end of the recession was declared, the top one percent has captured about 95 percent of the income gains. And one percent of earners have taken roughly one fifth of all the income earned by Americans in 2012. This trend continues for the top earners while lower earners continue to struggle.

And what of those who aren’t in the one-percent club? Income gains for everyone else, when they happen at all, are slower … or almost invisible. The 2013 median income in Vermont was $52,578.00, up slightly from the national number by about $300. With hardly any variation the median income has been in this range since 2005 when it was $54,514.00.

So, I guess the income gains at the top should start to trickle down any day now … right?


3 thoughts on “In Vermont, that’s rich

  1. this no longer shocks me.

    When we were kids we learned all about America, “the Land of Opportunity;” we were assured that there was “justice for all” and that we were a beacon of democracy to which the whole world might aspire.

    I’ve spent the last fifty years unlearning those lessons.  

    It just ain’t so.

    While Vermont may be marginally more responsible from the environmental and social justice standpoint; there are those here who, like our governor and his intimates, still believe that if you do kindly to millionaires they will pay it forward to benefit the poor.

    it must be nice to have the luxury of such delusions.


  2. Thanks for this good diary, Bill. It’s nice to have some economic common sense to read, even if it’s discouraging, especially with Art Woolf out there blathering idioptic crap. It helps to remember in concrete terms why people are still pissed off about the economy. And why the one-percenter Shummy is busy scuttling the Democratic Party (and fueling the Republicans) by raising the school tax rate 2 cents in order to keep protecting his privileged peers.


    The decadent international but individualistic capitalism in the hands of which we found ourselves after the war is not a success. It is not intelligent. It is not beautiful. It is not just. It is not virtuous. And it doesn’t deliver the goods. ~ John Maynard Keynes (1933)

  3. Between 2009 and 2011 Vermont was one of 33 states in which the top one percent captured between half and all income growth.

    Which is the very reason Fake Dem Shumlin (and the rest of those Fake Dems in the Leg that refuse to tax the insanely rich) cites for why the rich shouldn’t have to pay one thin dime more in income taxes.  

    Oh, no.  According to the VT Democratic Party, only the poor, who already experienced NO economic recovery, should be made to lose more money.

    With Dems like Shumlin, who needs Republicans?

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