Skip to comments.The Rich Are Getting Richer; So Are the Poor
Posted on 11/07/2011 1:04:34 PM PST by MichCapCon
No matter your thoughts about the Occupy Wall Street movement, the protesters are right in at least one respect: The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.
Variations on this statement have been repeated in dozens of blogs, commentaries and even news reports over the past several weeks. The claim comes via a Congressional Budget Office analysis showing that incomes for the top 1 percent of Americans grew by 275 percent between 1979 and 2007, while the lowest 20 percent saw their inflation-adjusted incomes grow by only 18 percent.
The numbers from the report are correct, but the assertions based on it are true only because of careful wording.
the rich getting richer story-line insinuates that the top 1 percent and bottom 20 percent include the same individuals over time. For example, as Julie Mack of the Kalamazoo Gazette writes, Overall, the numbers show that the more affluent you are, the better youve done in the past three decades. Note how this ignores the reality that many individuals who were in the poorest group years ago have long since moved up and out, while among the rich are many families who are literally nouveau riche theyve recently arrived from lower income levels.
In the late 1970s, Steve Jobs was trying to expand a struggling computer company. Bill Gates was writing code and just beginning to start working on a personal computer. And one of the founders of Google, Sergey Brin, had just arrived as a 6-year-old immigrant from the U.S.S.R. These are individuals who did not enter that top 1 percent until many years later in the process displacing former one percenters.
(Excerpt) Read more at michigancapitolconfidential.com ...
1 percent of income earners in the US pay 38 percent of the income taxes. How much more do you want them to pay? - Boehner
Hah! They're not even right about that!
"Since the origins of modern capitalism around 1780, more than two-thirds of the worlds population has moved out of poverty. In China and India alone, more than 500 million have been raised out of poverty just in the last forty years. In almost every nation the average age of mortality has risen dramatically, causing populations to expand accordingly. Health in almost every dimension has been improved, and literacy has been carried to remote places it never reached before.
Whatever the motives of individuals, the system has improved the plight of the poor as none ever has before. The contemporary left systematically refuses to face these undeniable facts."
-- Robert Novak, from the thread Economic Heresies of the Left (Novak on Caritas in Veritate)
Indeed. The definition of “poor” is under-discussed. Our legal “poverty line” is some 20x world median income - by what insanity can living on more than what half the planet lives on be called “poor”?
I’m growing convinced that functional poverty is illegal in this country. (Still working on the theory; here goes.) Between property taxes, housing/work regulations, minimum wage, zoning laws, seductive welfare, etc. we have no legal poor. Functional poverty requires owning enough property (or use thru equivalent proxy of rental, family, taxpayer-funded etc.) to get by indefinitely on sweat of one’s brow of farming, foraging, and hunting, with a legal income below world median income. Property taxes amount to real estate rental: don’t pay, get evicted; rent and charity just relocate that by proxy. Housing & work regulations require a relatively luxurious environment for occupancy/operations permits (ex.: some areas consider detached garages or no A/C “blighted”). Minimum wage means many jobs go unfulfilled as they are illegal to pay a fair wage for. Prohibitions dividing residential/agricultural/commercial activity make holistic (to wit: total, not hippie) living difficult. By paying people to NOT work below certain incomes, commensurate labors are abandoned. These and other points converge to carrot-and-stick everyone away from viable survival at true poverty levels.
Point? Having all but eliminated poverty, the poverty-mantra elite MUST redefine “poor” to something far higher so they can claim ever more need for more wealth & power transference. Hence the observation that inflation-adjusted income of the “poor” has gone UP 18% over the indicated period - not a lot, sure, but by gum _they’re_doing_better_ ... which begs the question: why are some still considered “poor”? Adjusting for inflation, and realizing poverty is not contingent upon keeping up with the Jones, shouldn’t the observation be that adjusted income remains level and the total demographic population reduce? Something is awry in these numbers...
In a free society, with a just government and a rational culture,both the rich and the poor get richer together because wealth is not static but is created and grows.If the poor are actually getting poorer, it is the fault of too much government intervention in the economy that is causing economic stagnation or retrogression.
I've heard that dumb, cliche again and again over the past few decades. To hear them tell it, the poor keeps on getting poorer year after year after year that the poor by now should be living in caves, wearing animal skins for clothes and hunting with their bare hands.
Lies, damned lies and statistics.
After reading this much, I don't really care WHAT they went on to "prove".
Comparing growth of the top 1% with the growth of the bottom 20% is just a setup for an absurd comparison.
The top 20% would include a new subculture of government workers at all levels.