Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Top 1%

In my post below about our kitchen flood, commenter Bubblehead Les asked me how it felt to be in the Top 1% (because I actually had enough emergency fund money set aside to pay cash for a $1,300 refrigerator). All snark aside, the ability to purchase luxury goods and services because I earned and saved some money is indeed nice. Make no mistake, refrigeration *IS* a luxury. Most of the world has to do without it.

Strictly speaking though, the top 1% worldwide is not a very high bar. Our poorest citizens, those making <$5,000 per year, are in the top 15% of income earners worldwide. Does this make them rich? It depends upon your perspective. In the abstract, it does. In our Second World economy with its high cost of living? Not really.

According to the Census Department, we have 118,682,000 households reporting income in 2010. Dividing this into fifths (quintiles), you get 23,736,000 households in each quintile.

In terms of quintiles, our bottom 20%, with incomes under $20,000 annually, are in the top 15% (that bar being only about $2500 per year).

The second quintile, with incomes between $20,000 and $38039, is in the top 10% worldwide.

Our middle fifth (the average earners in our nation), with incomes between $38,040 and $61,719, is in the top 1% worldwide.

I will let you refer to the charts to glean what information you can. Generally speaking those people who work, have some education, and make good choices about relationships tend to do better than those who don't.

We live in the greatest country the world has even known. We have the ability to do almost anything in an attempt to earn a living. We can choose to save, spend, invest, or squander whatever we earn. We have choices open to us that most of the world can only dream of.

Attempting to change our economic meritocracy into a system of cronyism, rent-seeking, Marxist-redistributionism, or Socialism in the name of "Democracy" and "Fairness" misses the fundamental aspects of our Republic: Equality of opportunity and preservation of property rights. What you work for, what you *EARN*, you get to keep (most of, anyway) or dispose of as you will. It is too bad that the useful idiots in the "OccupySomething" protests weren't taught this in college.

Make good choices, you can buy luxury goods and services. Make poor choices, live a life that is relatively poorer as a consequence. Works for me.



2010 Census data on Income Quintiles and Income Distribution
Worldwide data pulled from Globalrichlist.com


Bubblehead Les. said...

Remind to show you the pictures of what happened to our Kitchen when the water line to the Dishwasher broke a few years ago.

The whole thing about the OWS Movement that people should be aware of is that it is Artificial, set up to deliberately give the impression to the American Sheeple that Capitalism needs to be Destroyed. Taking out the Homeless and the Street People who showed up, most of the Participates have some sort of Home, some sort of Job and are much more Educated than most of the World's Poor.

When the Marxist Millionaires show up and give them Money and Support, when Union Thugs show up with Food and Rent-a-Mobs, when the Leftist Politicians allow them to Stay in Parks, denying the Citizens of those Cities the use of those Parks that they pay for with their Tax Dollars, when the Lamestream Media constantly gives good press to them, this whole Circus Act reveals itself to be a Sham.

If America was in the midst of a 30's Depression, or the situation of 18th Century France or WW1 Russia, MAYBE the OWS could claim some Legitimacy. But the United States is nowhere near that Level.

Yet, it seems that there entire Movement is designed to GET to that Level of Poverty.

Bottom Line: to Paraphrase an old quote, "the OWS Movement is Defeat. Avoid it."

theotherjimmyolson said...

This useful idiot occupier is fully aware of this, although I did not attend let alone graduate from college. you might want to educate yourself by visiting and conversing with some occupiers. they are in every major community and some quite minor. their ages, occupations, politics, and experience run the gamut. In addition a surprising number are right up your alley in some regards. I have personally interviewed many and am impressed with the breadth of their concerns.

theotherjimmyolson said...

Yo, bubblehead. I recognize your description of OWS. It is word for word what you find in media and has zero, zip, nada, to do with the actual, real, factual occupiers. Perhaps you should get off your couch and go talk to some of your fellow citizens, who are after all standing up for your constitutional rights while putting up with your unwarranted abuse. Just sayin'