The differences between the middle class, working poor and upper middle class are not really that far off. A person making $250k a year is doing well…but they’re not rich. They’re just living the proverbial American dream that by the way…is nearly extinct in America. The real issue isn’t necessarily the top 1% either – as in 2009 – you only needed to make $343, 927 to be in the top 1% of wage earners. I know that’s not pocket change…but it’s hardly stealing democracy through obnoxious, hoarded wealth. The real issue is really the 1% of the 1% or .01% of highest income earners. Thanks to the wonders of “trickle down economics” – there has been a distribution of wealth…upward to the top .01%.
As David Kay Johnston at Reuters explains:
National income gained overall in 2010, but all of the gains were among the top 10 percent. Even within those 15.6 million households, the gains were extraordinarily concentrated among the super-rich, the top one percent of the top one percent.
Just 15,600 super-rich households pocketed an astonishing 37 percent of the entire national gain.
Saez shows that the top one percent’s share of real income growth is increasing with each economic expansion and it matters not whether the president is a Democrat or Republican. The top one percent enjoyed 45 percent of Clinton-era income growth, 65 percent of Bush-era growth and 93 percent of Obama-era growth, though that is only through 2010.
While markets are a factor, I think the evidence makes clear that government policy is at the core of the differing fortunes of the vast majority and the super-rich.
From Paul Krugman relative to incomes:
Notice that the rise is almost entirely concentrated in the top 1 percent; even the bottom half of the top 10 percent went nowhere, which tells you once again that this is about the 1 versus the 99, not the top 20 versus the lower class. And yes, the data are overwhelming support for a rise in inequality.
Now you have all these facts – empirical evidence and what to do with it? Well – in an election year..we get to vote for the person we think will best represent our own needs. Some things to consider….remember – David Kay Johnston said, “While markets are a factor, I think the evidence makes clear that government policy is at the core of the differing fortunes of the vast majority and the super-rich.” Well – consider these policies for a moment…
#1 – Mitt Romney refused to say he’ll get rid of loopholes for the 1% of the 1% – otherwise known as his neighbors and major donors. Source: HERE
#3 – Under Mitt Romney – the top .1% of earners ($2 million+) will receive a $750,000 tax cut on average. Source: Here
#5 – In order to pay for these tax cuts for the rich – Romney is going to increase the deficit by trillions more than President Obama. Source: HERE
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