By Stephen J. Rose, August 22, 2008

How a flawed study based on IRS data, since corrected, continues to generate the idea that only the top one percent of Americans saw gains in income over the past 30 years, while 90 percent of Americans saw their incomes decline.

In 2003, Thomas Piketty, of Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques and Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley published a paper, “Income Inequality in the United States, 1913-1998,” which tracked income distribution using data from a random selection of tax returns provided by the Internal Revenue Service. In order to keep consistency going back to 1913, Piketty and Saez (P&S) reported on income trends among the richest 10 percent of Americans, especially the very richest – the top one percent and one-tenth of one percent.

View the original article here: The Myth of Income Decline