Soak the Super-Rich

I like big colorful pictures and graphs that throw things into perspective. This one goes well with that pie-chart I had the other day:

 

inequality-page25_actualdistribwithlegend

 

Lots more here. And don’t forget to read Kevin Drum’s article (which these charts accompany) on the decline of unions, it’s well-worth the read.






108 replies
  1. 1
    Trentrunner says:

    So…are we pregnant or not?

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    I like red wine with pie charts and vodka with Venn diagrams.

    And if I don’t get a drink soon after reading that graph, I’m gonna punch a millionaire.

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    If all Americans were consciously aware of the actual distribution of wealth in this country things would be a lot different. I’d love to see this compared to the wealth distribution patterns of, say, 14th century England on the eve of the peasant uprisings.

  4. 4
    E.D. Kain says:

    @BGinCHI: yeah a drink sounds pretty good right about now.

  5. 5
    WyldPirate says:

    @BGinCHI:

    And if I don’t get a drink soon after reading that graph, I’m gonna punch a millionaire.

    Well, BGinCHI, don’t click the link to the rest of the graphs before you have several stiff drinks. The data depicted in them is even more disheartening than the one E.D. shared here.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    @E.D. Kain: That page of charts is stunning.

    What kinds of charts does the right look at?

    Or are they just too busy high-fiving each other to make any?

  7. 7
    Martin says:

    The unions should take their % of dues used to support candidates and create a single 30 second ad that shows that graph as a barchart, a pie graph, a big stack of money, etc. with a voiceover repeating: “Actual distribution of wealth. What Americans think it is. What Americans want it to be. Vote accordingly.” over and over. And run it nonstop for the next 18 months.

    Turn it into the Head-On ad of 2011-2012.

  8. 8
    BGinCHI says:

    @beltane: Off to teach Richard II, so funny you should say that (1381 and all).

    I won’t be using any charts or pie.

  9. 9
    MattR says:

    A quote from an NPR interview with Michael Norton (one of the two scientists who did the study that created the chart above). It should be nothing shocking to anyone here, but it is a quite good, succinct explanation of the problem.

    Mr. NORTON: That’s exactly right, and I think one of the reasons that we see people having a disconnect between understanding how much wealth inequality there really is, is this very strong American belief in the ability to be socially mobile and to be mobile with your wealth. So people have very strong beliefs that across generations and even in their own life they can go from rags to riches.
    __
    And it’s certainly possible. I mean one of the fantastic things about America is that that is in fact possible. But it’s much, much rarer than people believe, and especially wealth transmission, so money that goes from generation to generation to generation is very flat. So it tends to perpetuate a great deal over time.

  10. 10
    General Stuck says:

    Soak the Super-Rich

    You have come far, grasshopper.

  11. 11
    agrippa says:

    Those articles describe reality and the why of it.
    Not very many americans have any awareness of this reality. I do not expect that to change.

  12. 12
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Trentrunner: I think we have a urinary tract infection. Or our tank is infected with ick.

  13. 13
    Martin says:

    @BGinCHI: Actual distribution of abortions. What Americans think it is. What Jesus would like it to be.

    Actual distribution of firearms. What Americans think it is. What Ted Nugent would like it to be.

    Etc.

  14. 14
    jenn says:

    @Martin:

    amen – I’d love to see a commercial showing this graph

    (edited for clarity)

  15. 15
    slag says:

    Wow. So America really is a soc.ialist nation trapped in a plutocrat’s economic system?

  16. 16
    Kryptik says:

    The last graph in Kevin’s article, about the share of revenue each tax stream made up, is just galling. Look how the corporate tax rate shrunk, shrunk, and shrunk, and yet supposedly the corporate tax rate is so outrageously high that businesses refuse to pay.

    Hint, maybe you pay so much from such measely tax rates because you make so much goddamn filthy lucre.

  17. 17
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Of the top 20% the wealth is most concentrated among the top .01%, about 35,000 families in the US. If I find the chart I will post the link

  18. 18
    jpe says:

    W/o comparisons to other countries, this just isn’t useful. Presumably what we’re supposed to think is that policy can remediate this, but w/o looking at comparative figures from other countries whose policies the progenitors of the info would have us imitate, this is pretty much entirely useless. It’s just pretty colors and arbitrary numbers w/o some sort of baseline. (notably, we’re never given comparative baselines)

  19. 19
    Martin says:

    @jpe: Actually, if you go to the source page, you have a comparative baseline – ourselves historically. Or is comparing us to Pakistan supposed to provide greater justification of the data than comparing us to us, 20 years ago?

  20. 20
    slag says:

    @jpe:

    (notably, we’re never given comparative baselines)

    Actually, you’re almost always given comparative baselines. You just choose to regard only the ones you agree with. Here’s another comparative baseline for you (pdf):

    Paternal earnings had the least effect on sons’ earnings in Canada, Norway, Finland, and Denmark, where less than 20 percent of income advantages are passed onto children. The implication of these statistics is that in these countries it would take three, not six, generations to essentially cancel out the effects of being born into a wealthy family.

  21. 21
    MattR says:

    @jpe:

    Presumably what we’re supposed to think is that policy can remediate this

    I don’t think that was the author’s goal. The study starts off by stating:

    Disagreements about the optimal level of wealth inequality underlie policy debates ranging from taxation to welfare. We attempt to insert the desires of “regular” Americans into these debates, by asking a nationally representative online panel to estimate the current distribution of wealth in the United States and to “build a better America” by constructing distributions with their ideal level of inequality.

    (EDIT: The study also found that 92% of respondents preferred the wealth distribution of Sweden over that of the United States. Additionally, this number did not vary much by gender, who they voted for in 2004 or income, though the lowest support for Sweden of any demographic was 89.1% among those making more than $100K)

  22. 22
    Martin says:

    @jpe: That said, here are comparisons with some other nations. We’re looking decidedly banana-republic-ish.

  23. 23
    JPL says:

    I would like someone to ask potential Republican candidate Hermann Cain how much he paid his employees while amassing his wealth. He is also the one pushing the unFair Tax that is a sales tax. How much money do these folks want?

  24. 24
    freelancer says:

    @BGinCHI: I wanna punch a Billionaire so frickin’ bad

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    @Martin:

    The unions should take their % of dues used to support candidates and create a single 30 second ad that shows that graph as a barchart, a pie graph, a big stack of money, etc. with a voiceover repeating: “Actual distribution of wealth. What Americans think it is. What Americans want it to be. Vote accordingly.” over and over. And run it nonstop for the next 18 months.
    __
    Turn it into the Head-On ad of 2011-2012.

    Yes. This. The voiceover could also play off the “This is your brain on drugs” ads from whenever that was and say, “This is your wealth distribution on Republicanism.” Or “conservatism.” Either one. Or both.

  26. 26
    Violet says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    yeah a drink sounds pretty good right about now.

    Drink now. If the Republicans/teabaggers/conservatives/Kochs (they’re all the same to me these days) have their way you won’t be able to afford that drink in a few years.

  27. 27
    You Don't Say says:

    @slag: Funny, ain’t it? Sorta like W was a war hero and Kerry’s Purple heart was a fraud …

  28. 28
    JPL says:

    @MattR: I wonder if the odds improve if you buy a lottery ticket.

  29. 29
    James E Powell says:

    I suspect that, even after these charts were explained to them, most Americans would not draw the same inferences that most of us posting here are drawing. Minds confronted with data that conflict with their beliefs will hold onto the beliefs more tightly.

    But, hell, it is worth a try, no?

    Somebody ought to set up a website where people can go and try out “What is the wealth distribution in the US?” and “What do you think it should be?” Only after completing this exercise do they find out the truth.

  30. 30
    Jesse Ewiak says:

    I appreciate your shift over the last couple of weeks ED, but quite frankly, I think some of these posts would be more interesting on Ordinary Gentleman instead of on here where you’ll get a whole bunch of fuck yeahs. I mean, it’d be entertaining if nothing else.

  31. 31
    freelancer says:

    @Jesse Ewiak:

    I second this notion, but it would be more interesting to just cross-post.

  32. 32

    @BGinCHI:

    What kinds of charts does the right look at?

    The same ones.

    They just label the chart as: “Which group works the hardest and is entitled to keep every goddamn penny from the money grubbing parasites constantly bitching about how they can’t afford food, heat, gas, or to retire before they’ve been dead for 20 years*.”

    *It’s a little known fact, but all of the major banks have been buying up copies of the Necronomicon in anticipation of raising debtors from the grave so they can continue to work off their debt as zombies.

  33. 33
    MattR says:

    @JPL: Sure it would help. But the difference would be so small that McMegan’s calculator could not display it.

  34. 34
    bago says:

    Occasionally we do get benevolent kings, Like Bill Gates, and his foundation.

    Bill Gates: Well, the first thing was the decision that it probably wouldn’t be good for my kids, for it to go to them, and so then the question of–

    Stephanopoulos: Will they get nothing?

    Gates: They’ll get something, but not a substantial percentage. Then, the question is how to give it back to society to have the best impact. And so my wife Melinda and I talked about what was the focus in the United States that we think could have the biggest impact? And then we picked education and scholarships. And then on a global basis, what was the greatest inequity? And as we learned about these health issues, we realized that that’s where you can make a huge change and that has such a positive effect on all the other things.

    And then you have the viewpoint of the sons of Koch, millionaires who inherited a printing press of money and have fought long and hard to validate the legitimacy of inheritance and media manipulation.

    This is the difference between people that have a spare 34 million laying around. One spends it on preventing disease, and the other spends it on building the CATO institute.

  35. 35
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Martin: I almost titled this post Banana Republic, actually.

  36. 36
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Jesse Ewiak: My first union posts were at OG.

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/.....n-problem/

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/.....he-unions/

    I’m working on another Big One on all of this for that site, actually. Doing news-cycle stuff here.

  37. 37
    asiangrrlMN says:

    You know, even when one knows the truth, seeing it laid out in bright colors is pretty damn depressing. I just don’t know how to break most Americans of the mentality that they can make it into the yellow section.

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    @E.D. Kain: turn off the comments. The post did a fact check on the President supposedly apology tour and gave it Four Pinocchios. The comments are vicious.
    I assume you will see comments comparing the US with Somalia.
    One thing that they can’t do is compare us to other industrialized nations.

  39. 39
    shortstop says:

    @General Stuck: Well, he has, but I keep thinking about how you’re supposed to make major life changes slowly so that they last.

    ED, I encourage you to approach this move toward the political light as you would weight loss. Instead of suddenly trying to run 10 miles a day, start with taking the stairs at work and parking farther away when you do your errands. Rather than eschewing all refined sugar, limit yourself to one reasonably sized treat a day. Take time to reflect on how these small adjustments add up to big, meaningful changes. We don’t want you to have the political relapse equivalent of binging on an entire chocolate cake, three bags of potato chips and five bacon cheeseburgers.

  40. 40
    freelancer says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Sweet, but we’re still gonna give you shit for gems like “readership capture“.

  41. 41
    numbskull says:

    I’m working on another Big One

    Eewwwww

    TMI, dude, TMI…

  42. 42
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @shortstop: So, he’s allowed to do one ‘invisible hand of the free market’ post a day? I can live with that.

    @freelancer: As we should. Hell, we give Cole crap all the time.

  43. 43
    Bob says:

    I hope those charts and graphs will end the meme government can’t do anything right. Clearly government can redistribute wealth.

    On the other hand, the info does prove St. Ronnie correct, “Government is the problem.”

  44. 44
    MattR says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Technically, its Rosie that gives Cole crap all the time.

  45. 45
    shortstop says:

    @asiangrrlMN: No, no, there’s no “allow” about it. Only ED can determine how many shifts he should make at one time. I’m simply urging a conservative (heh!) approach to change to minimize the chances of him having the mother of all benders. ;)

  46. 46
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Recent conversation with my sister who lives in England “you live in a third world country, the people who live with you just haven’t realized it yet” (of course she said realised as opposed to realized but you get the point). She is right, we do, the regular folks live paycheck to paycheck and the uber rich live large. I only have to watch one episode of “Selling New York” to know that.

  47. 47
    stuckinred says:

    Lil Bit has returned and guess what? A night on IV at the regular vet costs the same as a night at the emergency vet!

  48. 48
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Looking at those charts, I suspect that somewhere, sitting around a big conference table with a bunch of embryos, John Rawls is laughing his ass off, and Michael Harrington is buying the beer.

  49. 49
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @stuckinred:

    Hmm hoping Lil Bit is referring to your pet and not to me other than that I am clueless.

  50. 50
    pablo says:

    Submitted for your approval, something down to earth, like farming!

  51. 51
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @shortstop:

    Charity, patience, and Luke 15:7, people.

  52. 52
    stuckinred says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: You’re not from here are you?

  53. 53
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @shortstop: Yeah. I would hate for him to wake up one morning and see BJ littered with drunken, misspelled posts about how barbers are oppressed because they have to get a license, how the readership capture of BJ has finally done him in, and fucking trash collection, how does that work?

    @MattR: Ha! So true. We just like to rub it in his face.

    @stuckinred: Ouch. But, I’m glad she’s OK.

  54. 54
    bemused says:

    The first chart showing $31,244 for average income for bottom 90% is one that all small and medium size business owners, not the large corps, should see. I don’t think most of them realize the income inequality is that stark.

  55. 55
    shortstop says:

    @Davis X. Machina: There’s no shortage of rejoicing on my part. This is gentle teasing. You can tell because when I’m not teasing, I’m way more of an asshole.

  56. 56
    Maude says:

    @stuckinred:
    Lil Bit must be okay. Glad to hear you talking about the cost. Vets are expensive.

  57. 57
    shortstop says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Exactly. And the self-hatred when he finds some chick in a Rand 2010 t-shirt passed out next to him…terrible.

  58. 58
    JPL says:

    @stuckinred: You could have paid for a first class vacation to Paris with the money the pups have cost you the last few months.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Why would Yglesias blog here?

  60. 60
    jenn says:

    @stuckinred:

    Yay! (to the returned part, of course)

  61. 61
    stuckinred says:

    @JPL: The worst part is that this is from something she ate and not 10 minutes after we were home she pulled a piece of foil that was sticking out of the grill and was munching away on it. Her food obsession has increased incredibly lately.

  62. 62
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @shortstop: I figured as much, or I’d have dropped Luke 15:22 on ye as well.

  63. 63
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @shortstop: Especially if his wife finds her first.

    @Omnes Omnibus: Winz!

    @Davis X. Machina: That’s what I actually thought the first verse was going to be. I’m a bit rusty on my Bible.

  64. 64
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @stuckinred: Nope from England, but I must have missed the thread about your cat, Lit Bit, believe me I am so with you on that. I have spent countless dollars and countless hours at the Vet with my cats.

  65. 65
    PurpleGirl says:

    @stuckinred: How is the critter doing?

  66. 66
    JPL says:

    Earlier today I read Kevin’s Plutocracy Now and income inequality and although well researched, unless it is high-lighted on MSM, the numbers and charts will get buried.
    Fox viewers just don’t believe it. They think a national sales tax is fair.

    OT..I hope that we hear from some of our NZ friends soon. Christchurch is just devastated.

  67. 67
    JPL says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: fyi, I’m glad you are posting again. We missed you.

  68. 68
    stuckinred says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Lil Bit is a cocker spaniel. I had a morning spot on the front page a while back.

    PurpleGirl

    She’s curled up beside me watching the Buckeyes kill my Illini!

  69. 69
    shortstop says:

    OT, “Lou Sarah,” the Facebook sockpuppet Sarah Palin created, is entertaining. Especially amusing is the fact that she liked Sarah Palin before she liked Bristol Palin. Her selfless mothering knows no limits.

  70. 70
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @stuckinred:

    I missed that! My Uncle and Aunt had a pair of Cockers, my Uncle used to say that they would charge out of the front door and then bark at a tree for absolutely no apparent reason. Apparently the tree was the devil.

  71. 71
    BGinCHI says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    My Uncle and Aunt had a pair of Cockers

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  72. 72
  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    @bago:

    It really does come from the parents: IIRC, Bill Gates Sr. was very big on his children having to make their own way in the world and only getting a (relatively) small inheritance. (Gates Sr. is a millionaire (at least) in his own right.) So the Gates Jr. kids will probably also turn out okay since Bill is making the same decision his father did.

  74. 74
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Apparently the tree was the devil.

    It could have been. I mean, you can’t prove that it wasn’t.

  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JPL:

    I have a couple of coworkers who are visiting NZ right now, but fortunately they were on the north island when it happened. The quake hit about two hours after they left Christchurch.

  76. 76
    shortstop says:

    @BGinCHI: What kind of short-ass class was that? Did you even get to the duel?

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @stuckinred: The blond one completely reminds me of Beau, the English cocker we had when I was growing up.

  78. 78
    shortstop says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Silly spaniels. Everyone knows that the devil is the dog-shaped kleenex box at the vet’s reception counter. Everyone in this house, anyway.

  79. 79
    stuckinred says:

    I forgot, youtube took this one down because of the music. When Jimmy Met Misty.

  80. 80
    stuckinred says:

    And here are mine but they disabled “Little Darlin” by Los Lobos.

  81. 81
    gnomedad says:

    The top 20% is five times as productive as the rest of us put together. Duh.

  82. 82
    gwangung says:

    Earlier today I read Kevin’s Plutocracy Now and income inequality and although well researched, unless it is high-lighted on MSM, the numbers and charts will get buried.
    Fox viewers just don’t believe it.

    Yet, when they hear from fundraisers that it used to be that they got 95% of the funds from 5% of the people and now it’s 99% from 1%, they won’t put two and two together.

  83. 83
    skippy says:

    full disclosure, i know kevin drum personally, but his analyses are usually right on.

  84. 84
    Suffern ACE says:

    Hmmm. When I wrote that we needed a new FP person to challenge from the left, I didn’t think it would be ED. Soak the rich?

    I understand that the charts show a problem, but what type of problem is it? it certainly creates a power imbalance since wealth has so much control over politics. But what else?

  85. 85
    Calouste says:

    @slag:

    Paternal earnings had the least effect on sons’ earnings in Canada, Norway, Finland, and Denmark, where less than 20 percent of income advantages are passed onto children. The implication of these statistics is that in these countries it would take three, not six, generations to essentially cancel out the effects of being born into a wealthy family.

    6 generations? So there are still people living off the money that was made by slave owners?

  86. 86
    someguy says:

    I think we should soak the fuck out of the rich, the top 20% or so. According to the NYT, that starts at $88k. You make more than that, you oughtta be on the one for you, one for us tax plan.

  87. 87
    TooManyJens says:

    @Suffern ACE: There’s also a pretty damn big information problem, since on the whole Americans apparently don’t understand the country they’re living in.

  88. 88
    jwb says:

    @James E Powell: The real problem, I think, is that if such an ad campaign started to work, the media companies would stop airing the ads.

  89. 89
    slag says:

    @Calouste:

    So there are still people living off the money that was made by slave owners?

    Yeah. Pretty much every white person in America. Oh…you mean directly living off slaveholder profit? Well, I suppose it technically depends on how they calculate generation (I didn’t look at that), but your assumption seems reasonable to me.

  90. 90
    Liberty60 says:

    We have allowed the subject of taxes to become a taboo- notice that when Robert Reich suggested going back to pre-Reagan tax levels, Andrew Leonard scolded him for being a fantacist

    Why? Why can’t we have a national debate about raising taxes to solve the deficit, instead of simply more cuts?

  91. 91
    Jesse Ewiak says:

    @Calouste:

    Yes, it’s called the South. You go back to most of the powerful people in south of Pittsburgh and east of the Mississippi, you’ll find some plantations in their past.

  92. 92
    Jesse Ewiak says:

    @E.D. Kain:

    Got ya’. I guess like freelancer, I was looking at more crossposting of these posts to OG, but if you’re working on a larger post to sum up things over there.

  93. 93
    James E Powell says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    When it comes to Luke, I’m a 7:34 man myself.

  94. 94
    Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q) says:

    @stuckinred: Glad she’s better! I was wondering, so thanks for the update.

    Our 2 go for teeth cleaning (February is dental discount month at our vet, who also has a groomer on staff) followed by a bath once they are fully awake, so it will be a mostly dogless day chezQ.

  95. 95
    E.D. Kain says:

    @Jesse Ewiak: I could cross-post for sure.

  96. 96
    tomvox1 says:

    Drum’s piece is a knockout. Even a Teabagger should be able to figure that he’s been fucked in the ass after reading it, not to mention maybe even shaming one or two so-called reporters currently fishing for scraps from the Kings’ tables into doing their fucking jobs.

    Should be re-published every day for the next two years somewhere, goddammit, and preferably also as a full-body tattoo on Fred Hiatt.

  97. 97
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @bago:

    This is the difference between people that have a spare 34 million laying around. One spends it on preventing disease, and the other spends it on building the CATO institute feeding their own disease.

    Fix’t.

    This shit is pretty depressing to see. You know it’s bad but the statistics don’ lie.

    It’s worse than that.

    Today I heard that WalMart sales are were down. Again. For the seventh quarter. If people don’t have enough to money to buy the cheap crap they have at WalMart then you know we are really fucked.

  98. 98
    Triassic Sands says:

    Unfortunately, you could pair these graphics with ones showing the difference between what Americans say they want and what they vote for. Needless to say, no one interested in a more equitable distribution of wealth would ever vote for a Republican. But then the keep winning elections.

  99. 99
    redoubt says:

    @Calouste: Yes, and it’s called South Carolina. (PS: Jim DeMint’s brother Tom is a fairly important real estate broker.)

  100. 100
    Miro says:

    In the last week I’ve moved from the belief that with the GOP “It’s all about cheap labor” to the belief that with the GOP “It’s never enough; it’ll never be enough.” Unpaid slave labor wouldn’t be enough to make them happy. What they want is an endless supply of labor that, when it gets hungry and thus eats up capital in the form of food, … that it would just go away and die and make room for the next labor bot on the line.

    It’s never enough; It’ll never be enough. It’s the ideology of God as Greed.

  101. 101
    Blast Dorrough says:

    The real issue here is that the lawless Corporatecrafters of monopolistic fixed-enterprise have yet to earn a single dollar of the trillions mostly stolen from the US Treasury via governmental welfare for the greedy wealthy of imagined nobility. Their cancerous culture of greed and corruption of the Corporatecrafters has afflicted every federal and state branch of government. They truly look upon the US working class, small business owners and senior citizens as hereditary property and serfs and thus “entitlements” to manipulate and exploit at will to their advantage and financial gain. This is born-again monarchy, an ancestor of communism, fascism and Chinese/American coummunist capitalism of cheap labor. Bear in mind that the American Revolution was not only fought against the evil of Kingcraft but the evil of Corporatecraft and the evil of man-revealed Christiancraft of “charlatanerie” as well. Evil Corporatecraft united with evil Christiancraft of “charlatanerie” are Public Enemy No.1 of the United States.

  102. 102
    jdowd says:

    @Martin:

    actually, i think the public sector unions should stop trying to compete on the ad buy playing field where they are vastly outgunned. they should instead pay some of their members to start organizing the private sector. time to go on the offensive. i can’t even tell you how many friends and family members i have who don’t know what a union is or that they can form one.

  103. 103
    TNGrits says:

    @beltane:
    on this graph what the American public would like it to be is call SOCIALISM. Distribute the wealth evenly… That isn’t what this country was founded on. It was founded on capitalism and the ability to make as much money as you can… which I personally like to do!
    I like charts too… so… This is from the 2008 IRS stats… Percentiles Ranked by AGI
    AGI Threshold on Percentiles Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid
    Top 1% $380,354 38.02
    Top 5% $159,619 58.72
    Top 10% $113,799 69.94
    Top 25% $67,280 86.34
    Top 50% $33,048 97.3
    Bottom 50% <$33,048 2.7
    Note: AGI is Adjusted Gross Income
    Source: Internal Revenue Service Based on 2008 Income Taxes Paid
    The bottom 50% of wealth pay only 2.7 percent of the taxes collected. The top 50% of the wealth pays 97.3 percent of all the taxes collected. The top 1% of the wealth in earnings in this country pays over 38% of all the tax collected. DID YOU GET THAT??? THE PEOPLE EARNING THE TOP 1% OF THE WEALTH PAY OVER 1/3 OF ALL THE TAXES COLLECTED!!!!! Actually 3/8 would be 37.5% and they pay more than that…How can you say they aren't paying their share?

  104. 104
    aliceandthecat says:

    Mother Jones website has this an 10 other charts…….once upon a time in France all the poor people rose up andchopped the heads off the superrich….does anyone here have a schematic for a basic guilloutine?????

  105. 105

    […] • It’s the Inequality, Stupid (Mother Jones) see also Soak the Super-Rich (Balloon-Juice) […]

  106. 106
    BJ says:

    “It is easier to whine and complain than to work hard and succeed ” … Bill Clinton

  107. 107
    pj says:

    Think for a moment about the meaning of the “what they would like it to be” chart. Why would anyone ever work in that environment? Ask yourself, as well, would everyone want that distribution if the average were much lower than exists today (which it would be). Communism, good stuff.

  108. 108
    Caltha palustris says:

    EDK,

    Congrats! You received a hat tip from Barry Ritholtz lists you on his daily reading list.

    Well done!

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