So, since around 1998, I've been focused on two coming apocalypses: the economic collapse and the global climate catastrophe. The former is nigh upon us, but the latter may still be up to 20 years away -- anyway, it's not immminent, and I sometimes have hope that we may have a Manhattan island throughout my lifetime. Or, not to mortally jinx myself, throughout my actuarially predicted lifetime. That's a digression.
My approach to the former problem was to start credentialing myself as a high-income worker and hob-nob with the wealthy and powerful. This, then, is pretty validating:
EMMANUEL SAEZ[, the income-share expert and economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley]: Perhaps the best comparison is the Great Depression. During that period, the income share of the top 10% was stable. But that masked a sharp fall for the top 1%. The income share of the top 1% fell from 24% in 1928 to 15.5% in 1931.
[It was such a big drop] [m]ostly because capital gains took a big hit, and I think it will in the coming years as well. One of the most important (factors) during the Great Depression was that profits to business took a huge hit. That affected the top 1%, but the top 10 % as a whole remained stable because the high-wage earners did pretty well during the Great Depression. Those guys rarely lose their jobs and don’t get much of a pay cut.