Consumption or income? Changing composition of households over the last 30 years? Are we measuring inflation incorrectly? Is inequality simply a statistical artifact of the '86 tax reform bill? Why not look at the money flow in America since 1979? This graph from an annual CBO report shows the share of total earnings going to various income levels. "If you look at the raw CBO figures, they show that a full tenth of the national income has shifted since 1979 to the top 1% of the country. "The bottom quintiles have each given up a bit more than two percentage points each, and that adds up to 10% of all earnings. "That 10% has flowed almost entirely to the very tippy top of the income ladder."