Richest 1 percent earn biggest share since '20s

Top 10 percent take home a record 48.2 percent of total earnings in U.S.
Associated Press
Sep 11, 2013

The gulf between the richest 1 percent and the rest of America is the widest it's been since the Roaring '20s.

The very wealthiest Americans earned more than 19 percent of the country's household income last year — their biggest share since 1928, the year before the stock market crash. And the top 10 percent captured a record 48.2 percent of total earnings last year.

U.S. income inequality has been growing for almost three decades. And it grew again last year, according to an analysis of Internal Revenue Service figures dating to 1913 by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University.

One of them, Berkeley's Emmanuel Saez, said the incomes of the richest Americans surged last year in part because they cashed in stock holdings to avoid higher capital gains taxes that took effect in January.

In 2012, the incomes of the top 1 percent rose nearly 20 percent compared with a 1 percent increase for the remaining 99 percent.

The richest Americans were hit hard by the financial crisis. Their incomes fell more than 36 percent in the Great Recession of 2007-09 as stock prices plummeted. Incomes for the bottom 99 percent fell just 11.6 percent, according to the analysis.

But since the recession officially ended in June 2009, the top 1 percent have enjoyed the benefits of rising corporate profits and stock prices: 95 percent of the income gains reported since 2009 have gone to the top 1 percent.

That compares with a 45 percent share for the top 1 percent in the economic expansion of the 1990s and a 65 percent share from the expansion that followed the 2001 recession.

The top 1 percent of American households had pretax income above $394,000 last year. The top 10 percent had income exceeding $114,000.

The income figures include wages, pension payments, dividends and capital gains from the sale of stocks and other assets. They do not include so-called transfer payments from government programs such as unemployment benefits and Social Security.

The gap between rich and poor narrowed after World War II as unions negotiated better pay and benefits and as the government enacted a minimum wage and other policies to help the poor and middle class.

The top 1 percent's share of income bottomed out at 7.7 percent in 1973 and has risen steadily since the early 1980s, according to the analysis.

Economists point to several reasons for widening income inequality. In some industries, U.S. workers now compete with low-wage labor in China and other developing countries. Clerical and call-center jobs have been outsourced to countries such as India and the Philippines.

Increasingly, technology is replacing workers in performing routine tasks. And union power has dwindled. The percentage of American workers represented by unions has dropped from 23.3 percent in 1983 to 12.5 percent last year, according to the Labor Department.

The changes have reduced costs for many employers. That is one reason corporate profits hit a record this year as a share of U.S. economic output, even though economic growth is sluggish and unemployment remains at a high 7.2 percent.

America's top earners tend to be highly paid executives or entrepreneurs — the "working rich" — instead of elites who enjoy lives of leisure on inherited wealth, Saez wrote in a report that accompanied the new analysis.

Still, he added: "We need to decide as a society whether this increase in income inequality is efficient and acceptable."

 

Comments

Sandusksquach

Raise taxes on them. BAM!

8ballinthesidepocket

They already pay 92% of all taxes surely paying the freight for a lot of lazy no accounts.

The New World Czar

Hey whatta ya know, this one didn't get blamed on Bush.

grumpy

It is the wonder of compound interest. I make more on the money I have invested since I was 10 years old than the wages I earn for the last 10 years. I expect those who are in the 1% have done the same. Save for 40 + years and that is what happens when you save as much as you can and watch your investments. It isn't brain surgery... it is math (science if you prefer). I didn't make 6 figures till I was almost retired. Now I work part time ( I work in my hobbies) and live on what I make, (since I have NO DEBT) that comes from discipline, and the extras, like world travel , come from the investments and union pension... which is an investment... just not under my control. My other investments are under my control. I lived within my means and saved every week, every month every year.

Ifg yuou spend every dollar to live your life you will not save or invest like the 1% does. Their investments are rising with the Dow. if you haven't invested... you aren't keeping up with those who do invest. Whose fault would that be?

bullydogs1971

so why you so grump?....lol

coasterfan

And yet, middle class Republicans still support fiscal policies that increase the income gap between the 1% and the rest of us. The rich, of course, are counting on stupid people supporting this massive redistributing of our money UPWARDS.

Some will disagree, but that doesn't change the basic facts and statistics one bit, does it?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I ask as an open minded student seeking your wisdom as a retired teacher; and I don't ask these questions sarcastically.

What do you believe this middle class to be? Additionally, what do you propose to punish people who make more than others so that we can correct this perceived societal inequality? Or if not punish, what can we do to lift those in financial despair and (even through no fault of their own) ignorance upwards so that they too can benefit from saving, investing, participating in, and avoiding being victims of the marketplace?

As it is fair to attempt to answer my own questions I will state that I believe the middle class to be a meaningless, archaic, divisive term that is defined differently among different people (or is just too broad to really be descriptive). I would not seek to punish those who make more than myself nor feel jealousy toward them. Instead I would devise ways that in accordance with a class-free society put into place economic and educational policies that benefit all.

Education, I am sure you'd agree, is what is the great equalizer. Even a prior story on The Register reported the disparity between dropouts and diploma holders. Facts and statistics, again.

Why are we even arguing over those income results - facts and statistics - like THEY are the problem instead of looking at the root causes for disparity? If I am shot please remove the bullet, don't sew it in me just to stop the bleeding! It is none of yours nor my business what someone else makes in private life and why are we promoting petty jealousy with an "income gap"?

What law, scripture, doctrine, contract, or other document dictates we should all make the same money, be guaranteed equal results, or that there "should" be no gap in income earned among a nation of 310+ million people? Do we just presume so? "It is just right." I am sure those geocentrists would say the same thing back prior to Copernicus based on their obvious, collaborative thoughts.

I'm not trying to be snide, sarcastic, nor pretentious. You say that you were a teacher and I KNOW you are passionate about topics like this. I accept that wholeheartedly and ask you these questions in good faith. I am tired of this "1%", "middle class", "income gap" parroting from those on the left just as my ears bleed and eyes roll back every time someone on the right says "welfare queen" etc. I seek social justice as I presume you do, too, but that can only be explored through meaningful dialog and not buzzwords.

So, what can we do in order to address the root cause (not effect) of socio-economic disparity?

HoraceMann

No, you're not "...trying to be snide, sarcastic, nor pretentious..."

You're trying to deflect Coasterfan's pretty good point by changing the subject.

Contango

Re: "increase the income gap between the 1% and the rest of us."

I assume that you and your spouse have invested retirement assets; if so, you are a part of the problem as you perceive it to be Comrade Teach.

Also, where do you think that your public employee health and welfare plans invest assets in order to pay you and your spouse's (taxpayer guaranteed) benefits?

Don't go crying "poor," your BS is easily seen through.

8ballinthesidepocket

Who do you include in your "stupid people" remark? Yourself??

goofus

Facts or hopefull wishes! Name one of Obozo's plans or fiscal policy that has done anything!!!!!!!!

grumpy

Savers who invest increase their net worth. Spenders go into debt and decrease their net worth, by paying interest on debt. . it hasn't changed for centuries. Fewer save than borrow. The dow has increased. the investors,invest in what makes them money. the borrowers pay interest on their debt. Which increases the net net worth?

The more I made the more I invested. the more I invested the more I had to invest. It is math... and common sense. If you don't invest you don't increase your net worth. QED It ain't rocket science.

Contango

Re: "Savers" & "Spenders"

From "Rich Dad, Poor Dad":

The rich tend to buy assets that appreciate and the poor tend to buy those which depreciate.

H*ll, when I first became eligible for an IRA, I borrowed the money in order to contribute!!!

From the Grave

Hasn't that been the plan all along? Why else do you ship our unskilled labor jobs overseas?
But we all end up in the grave, under 6 feet of dirt...

Minuteman

In the headline, the word "share" is the key word. The idea is to impress upon the public the unfairness of the rich. They are taking more than their fair share. The pie should be split up evenly for all of us. It isn't out there for the hardest working to get more. It is there for all to share in equally. Therefore, the richest one percent shall again be darned to heck because of their greed. We are also led to believe the richest one percent got there by greed and dishonesty. Except for Oprah and Al Gore, they're alright. They aren't stealing our fair share.

grandmasgirl

I agree. When the 401 plans first started, I took part. I couldn't afford to invest much, but along with my contributions to Social Security and what I saved in the bank, it steadily increased. When I retired, I was glad that they took those Social Security payments out of my check. I was glad I invested in a 401. I feel sorry for the young people who work and won't get these benefits. Especially since they have to support so many of those that NEVER worked.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Many of us young people aren't entirely convinced that SS will be around when we are supposed to claim it and thus our money is going into a black box to never be seen again. I would be much happier with a private option for my SS funds, as I am sure many others would be too. Let me participate in the market and reap its benefits instead of sitting on the sidelines while those in the market pass me by.

Minuteman

I was trying to show the disadvantage of going the socialist route. You have no choice to contribute to SS, it's the law, so "contribute" is the wrong word. You "pay". Unless you decided not to work, then you wouldn't pay income tax either. Being forced to pay into SS knowing it's a ponzi scheme is foolish.

We need control of our income, not someone saying they know better for us, and that we won't have any money for retirement and will be destitute if they don't take care of our money for us. Then blame all the economic problems on successful people, generating hate for the evil 1%.

We need to restore public education to the level where graduates can think for themselves. The dependency education must stop.

Contango

Re: "according to an analysis of Internal Revenue Service figures,"

So information obtained by way of the enactment of the Progressive 16th Amend. is being against citizens for Progressive class warfare purposes.

1913 - The year of the beginning of the end of individual and economic freedom and liberty in the U.S.

http://leadershiptofreedom.com/2...

Fromthe419

It all goes back to 1913 Contango, the enactment of the Federal Reserve was the biggest farce ever pulled over the eyes of the American public. We lost Liberty, Freedom and the Pursuit of happiness in that single piece of legislation. Those that complain about the 1 percent, need only to look back of the creation of money as debt to the American people. Right, Left or what ever you all should be pissed at our current monetary policy. We all should be ashamed of the financial situation we are leaving our children and grandchildren.

KURTje

All hail Bernie Madoff.

Contango

Woulda liked to have seen that liberal *ss clown & crook Jon Corzine in a perp walk.

P.S. Madoff was a heavy Democrat party contributor.

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/...

Contango

I'm assuming that the above photo of the "flapper" is from the "Roaring Twenties."

Well, if anyone wants to investigate what economic forces caused the Roaring Twenties, one would do well to examine the Depression of 1920.

Never heard of the Depression of 1920? Most haven't.

"The Depression You've Never Heard Of: 1920-1921"

http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/d...

grumpy

"The Depression You've Never Heard Of: 1920-1921"

The best way to handle a depression is not to participate in it in the first place.

When the last economic slowdown occured I took my investments into cash, precious metals and real estate... mostly cash (money markets) they didn't pay much, but didn't go down like the Dow or other stocks. With mutual funds you can usually move the money around in the fund family for no cost, with just a phone call, if you know where your money is and have a clue what can be/is happening.

Contango

Re: "I took my investments into cash, precious metals and real estate..."

Hope it's working for you.

Problem: Not knowing when to get out and not knowing when to get back in causes most retail investors to buy high and sell low.

I'm essentially "buy and hold" with periodic reallocation of assets.

The S&P 500 low in Mar. '09 was 666.

Anyone who didn't get back in has so far missed out on a 150% plus increase.

grumpy

"Problem: Not knowing when to get out and not knowing when to get back in causes most retail investors to buy high and sell low."

My retirement funds are mostly in mutual funds. I put them into money market if I think the market is going to make a significant drop. If I stay in the same fund family the cost to move it is zero. Then I just have to decide which fund to put it into when I think the market is going back up. My retirement money stays in mutual funds, where I watch them and keep them in the fund families where I can move them in and out of various funds... at no cost.

My investment money is where I speculate. I take chances there and don't mind overloading in a sector... and have made out rather well, but it is speculating. Every now and then I take out money from the speculating "pool" and put it into mutual funds for retirement or long term savings.

You must follow Motley Fool on investing. I used to read them and mostly agree with their reasoning... but it has been years since I read them.

Contango

Re: "You must follow Motley Fool,"

No, Jack Bogle and others.

One of my favorite investment books:

http://www.amazon.com/Winning-Lo...

grumpy

Both Bogle and Motley Fool advocate index funds in broad strokes... and I have a good percentage in those also... but I do have my mad investment money, that when I started actively investing. A small amount that I started "actively managing. It grew faster and larger and I take some out for vacations and even add to savings and retirement. But so far that mad investment money grows faster, but my retirement and savings money is in rock solid investments such as the index funds and other sector mutuals. I have fun and actually make more with the mad money but it is something I know is "at risk", and can be reduced at a market whim, or even disappear, if such a thing happens.

Contango

Re: "I started actively investing."

Yea, I 'had' a brokerage account, made a few bucks here and there, however, I've kinda batten down the hatches recently and have been dollar cost averaging it into (GLD).

I listen and read all the BS from Max Keiser, Martin Armstrong and others and figure that this bull market in stocks and bonds will probably peter out in the next yr. or so.

Martin Armstrong figures that the SHTF in Nov. 2015.

We'll see....

http://armstrongeconomics.com/ar...

grumpy

" have been dollar cost averaging it into (GLD)."

I never fell into the dollar cost averaging thing. I have been buying physical gold in the dips. I go to Temperance, Michigan and buy there since I regularly pass through, No sales tax and the best rates I have seen around. I am no where near what I had in gold in August and September 11 when I sold out. I was lucky? when I saw it coming to an end. Gold, oil, and some real estate is where my "investment mad money" is going now mostly. There are others but that is the top 3 in quantity.

Contango

Re: "I never fell into the dollar cost averaging thing."

Studies have shown that one can often garner another 1% or more annualized return using the method.

Plus, the value of the assets can remain stable in a money mkt. during the process in the event of a severe mkt. correction.

Ya buy less when the price is high and more when the price is low.

IMO, physical gold assumes a "Mad Max" socio-economic event. I'm anticipating "only" a monetary collapse, i.e. an economic depression.

2cents's picture
2cents

"The gap between rich and poor narrowed after World War II as unions negotiated better pay and benefits and as the government enacted a minimum wage and other policies"

Just a thought, if you consider automation, computers and outsourcing, the loss of basic assembly, secretarial and other jobs that most people could start into after high school are about gone in todays world. We as a world have created a very efficient process that requires less people to make it all work but at the same time the world population keeps on growing. And this is on topic because if you just happen to be invested or own a company that has increased it's bottom line through efficiency then your return will be better. If you were one to punch a clock in any wide variety of positions then you are now struggling to keep a good job.

grumpy

The owners and investors put up money, time, knowledge, or some combination into a business. The worker who punches a clock doesn't. The owners and investors get their say so in what the business does and a share of the profits... if there is any. The worker who punches the clock gets a paycheck every week along with whatever benefits he is paid. The owners and investors have a vested interest in the company, the worker has a job.

AJ Oliver

It's really a myth that the ONE PERCENT worked hard and saved to get where they are. Nope, mostly it was inherited.
This is from S.M. Miller's "Born on Third Base"

"Half of those on the Forbes 400 list started their economic careers
by inheriting businesses or substantial wealth. Of these, most
inherited sufficient wealth to put them immediately into Forbes'
heaven. Only three out of ten on the Forbes list can be regarded as
self-starters whose parents did not have great wealth or own a
business with more than a few employees."

Contango

Re: "ONE PERCENT,"

Classical Marxist class warfare claptrap.

Ever heard the saying: "Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations"?

Ambition is gradually bred out of subsequent generations. Society eventually ends up with that wealth through profligate spending.

Unlike the kleptocrats, I don’t worry about what others have.

If you have an annual income of $40K you are in the richest 1% in the world!

Be careful what you wish for; ‘cause there’s little doubt that the world’s poor would like to redistribute the U.S.’ vast wealth to them.

IMO, one the major problems in the U.S. is that it's filled with economic and personal finance illiterates.

H*ll, most couldn’t even explain a rudimentary concept like compound interest.

grumpy

"It's really a myth that the ONE PERCENT worked hard and saved to get where they are. Nope, mostly it was inherited."

So? My kids will inherit from me. I should have the ability to say where my assets go. It shouldn't be up to the gov't to tell me where and how to divde up my assets. The gov't should have little or no say in the matter.

It does keep estate lawyers in business, along with overseas banks trusts and such. You and the rest of the unwashed should have no say in how a rich person splits up his estate. You have no standing.

The Big Dog's back

You're nothing more than a pc. o' sh!tsky.

grumpy

By what right does the gov't have a claim on my assets? My wife kids, grandkids, and whomever or whatever I want, does. Why do you feel you deserve what I have worked, saved and invested for nearly all of my life?

Bet piddle puppy can't and won't answer. At least in a logical answer, If he can't call someone names he is lost.

Nemesis

Another demonstration of the limits of Big Dog's articulation.

Nemesis

For every Paris Hilton, there's a Bill Gates, and someone born super rich who's now poor. In any event, if you don't let people pass the fruits of their productivity on to their own offspring, all you accomplish is to remove one of the strongest motivations to be productive.

People vary in ambition, talent, and other attributes. You can't maintain a classless society except by force.

Marxists' solution to poverty is to make it universal.

KURTje

The de rigueur for my lineage is always walk independent. Most with much are usually miserable people. Having so much, but actually having nothing.

grumpy

Re: " Most with much are usually miserable people. Having so much, but actually having nothing."

Speaking from experience... or out your a$$?

grumpy

doubled

AJ Oliver

Hey some name-calling Mr. Contago!!
Too bad you do not have the courage or common decency to put your name on your posts. Typical right-wing cowardice.
And note how the same righties who rail against political correctness go all bananas when one uses terms or concepts that make them squirm - like class, and the ONE PERCENT.

Contango

Re: "Hey some name-calling"

Nope.

Read it again.

I was referring to the "one percent" nonsensical rhetoric that you wrote as "Marxist claptrap."

But then again, if the shoe fits....

No "squirming," just disgusted with some people’s financial ignorance.

Nemesis

Yes, typical of people like Ben Franklin and James Madison.

You REALLY have a bug up your behind about peoples' names. Maybe it's because you are incapable of responding to WHAT they say, so you want to respond to WHO they are. That's sad - even Big Dog can manage to hurl insults without knowing who the other person is.

The Big Dog's back

Most of the 1% money is old money, made off the backs of slaves, women, children and now 3rd world countries. Savings my a$$.

Contango

Re: "Savings my a$$."

Yea, don't bother saving anything putz.

Just enjoy the crumbs that the political ruling class is gonna throw your way in your old age.

grumpy

"made off the backs of slaves, women, children and now 3rd world countries. Savings my a$$."

Thank you for citing your sources on this fount of misinformation. Oh wait... you didn't and can't. But then that is the norm for your claims.

KURTje

Live up to your name oldster...your hate is evident. Keep my government $$ coming! Thanks a lot! God how I love the military!

grumpy

Thanks for your service. Too bad you haven't learned what saving your own earned money and investing it wisely can do for you over a lifetime. No one showed nor taught you when you were young. Too bad for you and most others much like you.

A rule of thumb is that with compound interest you double your principal every 7 to 10 years. With good management you can do better. You keep adding to it every week, month, year and the magic of compound interest will allow you to enjoy life without worries of the future. Living within your means, and regular saving lets you control your own future... instead of hoping and praying that the gov't will take care of you. It is the independent way of living your life. But when you follow the crowd and hope and pray the gov't will take care of you... you become a follower and a serf to the gov't elites.

Sorry I don't bother to hate those who expect others (gov't) to take care of them, Pity would be closer to what I feel for them Contempt for the advocates who demand something for just existing, but there aren't many of those around... yet.

KURTje

Geez grump, how about - Pay as you go. Don't live paycheck to paycheck. Don't spend more than you make. Save for a rainy day. Buy stocks you believe in. (btw my acreage is paid for too/farm land) Enjoy life, it isn't about keeping up with the Joneses either. Life is too short & each day should be savored. Try sitting on a porch with friends over coffee...its that E-Z.

grumpy

"Geez grump, how about - Pay as you go. Don't live paycheck to paycheck. Don't spend more than you make. Save for a rainy day. Buy stocks you believe in. (btw my acreage is paid for too/farm land) Enjoy life, it isn't about keeping up with the Joneses either."

In what way is that different than what I have said in this thread?

As far as the Joneses go, most people that earned and saved their money don't advertise that they have it unless they lived in gated communities. It would only invite unwanted attention from those you don't want to be visited by. If I had to use my name, I would not be posting.

The New World Czar

Is there anything really wrong with being in the "top 1%" or "top 10%" anyway?

2cents's picture
2cents

I read an interesting article about these people. When Obozo was elected and began his socialism push a lot of well to do people went incognito in fear of being harassed. Many reduced their trips and fancy autos and began spending more in their own homes or like said gated communities. I could look for it but no time, it was an interesting read.

Contango

RE: "Many reduced their trips and fancy autos,"

The dumbed down socialists tend to forget what happened when the dopey Dems passed their ill famous Luxury Tax.

Hundreds of businesses closed and thousands of working Americans lost their jobs.

http://watchingamerica.com/News/...

OSUBuckeye59

Concerning the 1% income, there are lots of variables at play. Many CEO's have moderate to high base pay, and then they also have bonus pay & stock options, hence the term 'total compensation package'. For some, and I don't know what the percentages are, but for some their bonus + stock potential/targets can be far greater than their base pay, and that's why CEO's in general focus on maximizing shareholder value because doing so, in turn, puts more $$ in their CEO pockets. But that's the way Capitalism should work. The people at the top of the company food chain are expected to make the decisions that increase the bottom line, both short and long term. If they don't perform, the Board replaces them, but many (most?), as we know, negotiate "golden parachutes" when they're hired on, thus helping them ease into their next big CEO gig or retirement. Of course the CEO's need the rest of the company to perform, and also of course depending upon where an employee is in relation to the top dictates an employees total compensation package. One of my employer's clear directives is this: each of us is responsible for our own employability. If I don't believe I'm being fairly compensated, it's my choice what I do about it: I can stay where I'm at and keep toiling away, I can apply to other companies, I can go to school to earn a Bachelor's Degree in another discipline or a Master's Degree in my current discipline, in certain professions such as Financial Services I can go to school to get additional Licenses, or maybe I leave my current field and become an electrician or plumber apprentice as my friends in those trades for years have had the problem of simply not being able to keep up with the demand. But again, it's all my choice. And it's also important to remember we are long past the late 50's and 60's when getting an hourly job at the local Big 3 automaker plant translated into a pretty-much guaranteed excellent job for life + company-sponsored pension. So again, it's up to me to understand I control my own employability. CEO's understand this and that's why they continue to draw the compensation that they do. And to be clear, I don't begrudge or envy them. I've been in meetings with CEO's and Corporate/Executive/Senior VP's. I've seen the folks at the top of the company chain age a lot faster then when they were in lower positions. Not all lead a country club life, and those increased airplane travel trips to all parts of the globe take their toll, not to mention their family unit suffers. The top 1% may definitely have better creature comforts, don't have to worry about where their next meal will come from, don't have to worry about a place to live, but they are indeed paying both physically and mentally for the compensation they receive.

No . . . I do not begrudge or envy them.

pntbutterandjelly

"Coasterfan", among other here,is absolutely correct. To anyone who is either too blind or, unfortunately, ignorant, to the simple facts I say, "May the Force help you". To fall prey to rhetoric of, "Guns, God and country" is to dig your own financial grave. N E V E R before has the G.O.P. strayed so far from their principles. N E V E R before has the G.O.P. fallen to the influence of money, power and greed. N E V E R before has our country been pushed to the brink of economic and social collapse as has been brought to us by the G.O.P. I say this as once proud and staunch Republican.
Voting Americans need to wake up and stop listening to the propaganda that causes division, chaos and confusion and merely T H I N K. 90% of we Americans have been negatively impacted in one way or another by this diabolical plan. We have lost jobs, health care, dignity, economic opportunity and most importantly....our sanity to their ploy of, "Feed them lies often enough and we will own them".
Anyone and everyone who has felt the sting of those items I wrote about above...need to ONLY boil the problem down to its most basic common denominator and there you WILL find the answer. The CORRECT answer. Then and only then can you make a sound decision.

Economic Euthanasia is alive and well and graciously being provided by the top.................

10%.

Contango

Re: "'Coasterfan', among other here,is absolutely correct."

Your's and Teach's writings read like socialistic screeds chocked full of partisan rhetoric with little to no basis in fact.

I'll ask you some of the same questions that I've often asked coasterfan (and which he's NEVER answered):

Do you have any invested retirement assets? If so, you are part of the problem as you perceive it to be.

Where the h*ll do you think that the wealthy place their assets? Under a bed in a shoe box or on a home closet shelf?

And lastly, if hedge funds & private equity are so damn greedy and evil, then WHY IS IT that public employee pension plans invest hundreds of billions of dollars with them? HUM?

Shamefully, the level of financial ignorance in the U.S. is pathetic.

arnmcrmn

Whats funny is there will always be someone at the top.....no matter what you tax them or take away from them. You people might as well accept it. Just like sports, there is someone always at the top of their game/better than others. So we should punish them?

Its all about the scale. Richer people can invest more and make more than the avg. middle class person. Why is that so wrong?

If you have a retirement account or have money deducted out of your paycheck that goes into a 401K...etc, don't bother responding....because you are doing the exact thing these so called 1% are doing. They are just on a larger scale.

Strip every 1% of everything they have and you still will have a 1% class. Just accept it, work hard, pay your bills, save what you can and enjoy life. Don't be envious of others.

Contango

Re: "Strip every 1% of everything they have and you still will have a 1% class."

Good point.

My late father-in-law used to say that if all the wealth in the U.S. was redistributed, that within about six months that the ratios of wealthy to poor would be about the same once again.

I'm saddened at the stories of poor people who win millions in a lottery and within a short period end up stone cold broke again.

Poverty and financial ignorance go hand-in-hand.

Several yrs. ago I read "The Millionaire Next Door" and it changed my perspective.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The...

The "rich" are not who most think they are.

2cents's picture
2cents

"The "rich" are not who most think they are"

So true, I have met a lot of people and the true wealthy are sleepers, At least the ones I have met earned every dime, not like over paid ball players, Hollywood new and lottery winners who : )

Contango

Re: "The 'rich' are not who most think they are"

As is said: Those that got it don't flaunt it, and those that flaunt it ain't got it.

Old saying: Champaign tastes and beer pockets.

Many who the world perceives to be wealthy are stone cold BROKE.

EZOB

CHANGE THE PERCENTAGES IF YOU LIKE BUT HERE IS THE BREAKDOWN AS I SEE IT!
Upper 10%-- Obviously have p[lenty of money to live a life of luxury and are very rich.
Bottom 40%--Most have failed to further their education and a lot didn't graduate from High School. They are living a relaxed life and almost totally living on government hand-outs. They have become addicted to a lazy life and naturally want everyone to pay more so they can receive more.
40%-90%-- Here is where I and most of the people I associate fall into this group. We are true Americans and a lot of us served in the Military, that's what we were suppose to do. We came from hard working families that weren't necessarily poor but had very little or nothing for us to inherit. We have lived with strong and dedicated work ethics. Our hearts go out further to the handi-capped or mentally challenged but on the other hand have very little, what's that word that is between Sh#t & Syphilis? Oh yea, Sypathy, we have very little tollerance for those that choose not to work. Especially the moochers with 5-10 kids and different fathers who keep breeding to receive more money.
One day the well will run dry!

Contango

Re: "One day the well will run dry!"

A foretaste of when the national federal transfer of payments check one day comes back stamped NSF?

"Malfunction Causes Food Stamp Debit Cards to Fail"

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/1...

grumpy

"upper 10%-- Obviously have p[lenty of money to live a life of luxury and are very rich."

I think if you read the links I provided you would adjust your numbers to maybe the top 2% orperhaps the top 3%, depending on where you live. NYC, Boston, San Fran, and others on either coast where housing costs are much higher than here, takes much more to live decently. Here is an article with the breakdown of percentages.

http://www.financialsamurai.com/...

http://www.kiplinger.com/article...

http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/...

The bottom link explains the difference between wealth and income rather well.

AJ Oliver

What the article reported is a trend toward much more concentrated income and wealth in the U.S.. Of course all societies are unequal, and always will be, but the question is how much inequality is compatible with democracy? Plato discussed that issue long ago. Here is what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis had to say on the subject . .
"We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

Contango

Re: "how much inequality is compatible with democracy?"

#1. The U.S. is a republic, NOT a democracy.

#2. The "poor" in the U.S. are RICH in comparison to the "poor" in other parts of the world.

http://www.google.com/imgres?img...

#3. Plato believed that a society should be ruled by philosopher kings. GOOD LUCK finding those.

#4. Why do many of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. surround Washington, D.C.? Seems like the "Occupy Wall St." goofballs demonstrated in the wrong city, which would be typical for dumbed-down socialists.

#5. Why are 7 of the 10 wealthiest reps. on Capital Hill Democrats?

Nemesis

Plato was the world's first fascist. Nice place to look for advice, AJ.

EZOB

Contango,
You are right on and I might add that although the Republicans hold a majority in the House (Head Count) the House Democrats are worth more money. I think the Senate is far more distanced and this leads Me to ask you this question. I know we'll never figure this out: How come those so against the rich keep voting Democrat? Check the Break-down of where these people were employed before taking office. Vast majority of Republicans were involved in Business or business owners. Majority of Democrats-Lawyers, the Philadelphia type.

Nemesis

"How come those so against the rich keep voting Democrat?"

Because increased government economic control maintains the status quo - it keeps people in their current economic position. Look at the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act - Mattel's lobbyists helped write it, and the biggest effect of the new regulations is that it's harder for new businesses to enter their industry and offer them competition. Leftism is great for business IF you happen to already be at the top of the ladder.

The Big Dog's back

Let me think, what happened the last time we balanced the playing field and made the rich pay their fair share (After Great Depression)? We had 40 years of prosperity! Time to do it again!

grumpy

"made the rich pay their fair share"

What would that 'fair share' be?

Bet piddle puppy can't and won't answer that question. He is just mouthing inanities that he read from others. He has NO clue what 'fair share' is.

grumpy

"We had 40 years of prosperity!"

What do you call the late 70's & 80 under Carter with dims in control of the House, and a supermajority in the Senate? That falls well in the 40 year time frame you mouth. That was hardly 'prosperity', misery index, double digit interest rates, double digit inflation, and double digit unemployment. Either you have no clue about history, or you don't think before typing, I wonder which, if not both, is your problem?

Nemesis

We had 40 years of prosperity because our Air Force spent the first half of the 1940's destroying the industrial infrastructure of half of the rest of the developed world, after the German Air Force destroyed the other half.

arnmcrmn

Big Dog is soooo lost. Has no clue and leaves out a lot of information.

His answer.....take all their money away and give it to those who aren't working.

Pete

Oh no! Some people have more money than me! Instead of applying myself and trying to get ahead, I will just sit in my parent's basement and whine. The government should punish others and give my lazy butt their money!

Contango

Re: "We had 40 years of prosperity!"

Including WW2 putz? Fun times huh?

What a Bozo!

KURTje

Sad & funny. In this area you have self made people. M. Sage. Originally from Steuben, Ohio. Among other things he made transmissions for Don Garlits. J.Arnold. Willard, Ohio. Awards from Harley Davidson (way before Orange County Choppers) Owner of TJCycle/Plymouth ,Ohio. Could go on & on. That free thinking is what made America. Not wealth you poor in spirit herd followers. Independence make 1 wealthy; but alas why waste discourse here. You guys are broke.

EZOB

From 1970 to 1988 I started over four times and never filed bankruptcy or defaulted on a loan. This was all on a high school diploma and staying off my A@#. I was raised mostly on a one parent home. Yes, I got into a lot of trouble but you had better work out of it or it's a life of doom. No Pity here.

Contango

Pres. Obama: "You didn't build that."

Mostly true; without funding from their own or outside investments and savings most businesses and entrepreneurs wouldn't have the capital to help make their dreams a reality.

H*ll, many sm. business owners max out their credit cards (debt) in order to get their businesses off the ground and sometimes just to help keep them solvent during tough economic times.

A good line from "The Right Stuff": "No bucks, no Buck Rogers."

arnmcrmn

I have a friend who is starting up a new business. When its all said and done its going to cost him 50K just to get it up and running with no promises, no solid clientele...nothing. Its a risk, but I have no doubt he will make it and could eventually make some really good money doing what he does.

Now in coaster and big dogs eyes......he owes someone something or he is greedy if he ends up making six figures a year.

Contango

Re: "he owes someone something or he is greedy,"

I enjoy reading Martin Armstrong's blog. I thought that he made a good analogy:

"A woman was very demanding and confrontational. Her husband split and eventually met a girl 20 years younger.

The wife then says he left her for the “young girl” he met after the broke up. That is the explanation she prefers because there is no responsibility on her part.

This is the same problem. It is better to say it was the greed of manufacturers seeking low costs rather than to say unions became too confrontational with no sense of competitiveness and politicians kept raising taxes that made the products too expensive and uncompetitive.

It is a two-way street."

http://armstrongeconomics.com/20...

I've started a few businesses; made money on some, broke even on some and on some I lost money.

"Always know your downside." - Donald Trump

arnmcrmn

his is the same problem. It is better to say it was the greed of manufacturers seeking low costs rather than to say unions became too confrontational with no sense of competitiveness and politicians kept raising taxes that made the products too expensive and uncompetitive.

It is a two-way street."

This is America's major problem.

arnmcrmn

Good point above about stripping everything away and in less than a year, it would all be separated out again. Its like sports. No matter what rules are in place, the better athletes will always remain on top.

Contango

As Ludwig von Mises so brilliantly pointed out: Socialism only works in a static society.

EZOB

arnmcrmn,
The more rules gives the better players more of an advantage. I always stated in Pool Playing, Call your shots or bank the eight ball is a definite advantage to the better player. They will adapt faster.

grumpy

You are correct... as long as the rules are enforced. What is problematic is when rules aren't enforced and more rules (regulations) are added. Look at what happened when BP had the Gulf leak. If the regulations had been enforced we wouldn't have had the blowout, we wouldn't have stopped pumping oil out of the Gulf... the drilling rigs wouldn't have left the US fields. The pipeline from Canada wouldn't have been so hard to pass for use. Since then more regulations have been passed, which are not necessary had those that were existing , but not enforced. That is but ONE example of not enforcing the regulations as written.

Contango

Re: "What is problematic is when rules aren't enforced,"

IMO, the major issue was the GM & Chrysler bankruptcies where new rules were made up as the Admin. went along.

Decades of bankruptcy law was ripped up!

Assets were stripped from bondholders and others and GIVEN to unions!

Investors thought that the "game" was "21." The Admin. said, oh no, it's "25."

Anyone who doesn't see the fascistic nature of this Admin. doesn't know sh*t about business and finance.

Nemesis

And yet you defended this in another thread.

Contango

Re: "And yet you defended this in another thread."

WTF are you referring to Numbnutz?

bullydogs1971

isnt this all over a little piece of paper?? hope that paper continues to be worth what they tell you.....what happens when oil producing countries and the BRICS nations give up the dollar?? but this will never happen...will it?

The Petro-dollar explained
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d...

bullydogs1971

The American Dream Film-Full Length...a cartoon even a child can understand!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t...