“Data in this area is often conveyed in the context of a political agenda that promotes class warfare”

Hmm… wonder who’s doing the conveying?

Eat-the-richThe share of income earned by the “top 1%” can be misleading. When it comes to the income distribution, the “top 1%” consists of the 1.4 million tax returns with the greatest amount of adjusted gross income reported in a given year. Data on single-year income distributions are a lot less meaningful than commonly supposed because it’s not clear who those 1.4 million returns belong to, or what share of households remain in the top 1% from year to year. As a result, the statement that “most of the income growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top 1%” is really confusing because the households in the top 1% in 1981 were not the same as the households in the top 1% in 2011. All we know is that the income of today’s top 1% of taxpayers is higher than the income earned by the top 1% a generation ago.

The shift in income in the top 1% should not be ignored or treated as an irrelevant, however. The challenge is to analyze and interpret the data in a way that makes sense and does not depend on the mistaken assumption that “the 1%” is a fixed category of households over time. For example, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently argued that those who “benefited from Bush tax cuts” should now pay higher taxes to reduce the deficit. But households currently in the top 1% differ from households that benefitted from passage of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. For every 5 households in the top 1% in a given year, only 2 remain in the top 1% a decade later. As the U.S. Treasury explains:

This statistic illustrates that the top income groups as measured by a single year of income (i.e., cross-sectional analysis) often include a large share of individuals or households whose income is only temporarily high. Put differently, more than half of the households in the top 1 percent in 2005 were not there nine years earlier. Thus, while the share of income of the top 1 percent is higher than in prior years, it is not a fixed group of households receiving this larger share of income.

There is an obvious divergence between what the data mean and what proponents of tax increases interpret them to mean so as to make the case for higher taxes. If the “top 1%” is thought to be a fixed category of households, then single-year income tables leave the impression that this small number of households collects more and more in national income each year. If 20% of taxpayers were expected to be in the top 1% of the income distribution in any given year, increasing tax rates on the “top 1%” would impact one-in-every five households rather than one in every 100.

That said, what should be crystal clear is that the confusing data in this area is often conveyed in the context of a political agenda that promotes class warfare. At minimum, policymakers and economic analysts would be smart to tone down the rhetoric and focus in on arguments and conclusions that are truly supported by the data.

There’s much more, with graphs.

This needs to get into the hands of those who belong to the 99% and who actually have sense. Unfortunately, I suspect that would only be about a handful of people.

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  • Anonymous

    The “99%” aren’t interested in facts.  They are interested in a free ride.

    • herddog505

      BINGO!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OEL6MKIDWFC7LIUHOFEFTKLXQA Stephen

    “This needs to get into the hands of those who belong to the 99% and who
    actually have sense. Unfortunately, I suspect that would only be about a
    handful of people.”

    So you say the majority of the 99% of Americans who aren’t wealthy are idiots?

    What class warfare? I don’t see any class warfare here!

    Why are you such a toady for the wealthy? Do you have dream sof being ricj someday so you can buy your way into heaven and leave the unwashed heathen idiotic 99% behind you as you ascend to your rightful place?

    We have met the class warfare enemy. It’s you.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G7YIUZMXOD5JGZZTCYMVA75KFU Shadow

      No, he’s saying those who claim to be the 99%, demanding a free ride, are idiots.  They are idiots because they want to kill the golden goose, the most productive economic model for all its citizens ever implemented.  Class warfare is a tool used in controlling those idiots. 
      I don’t have to prove this to you as fact, history already has.  Now please refer back to post one by GarandFan.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

        No, he’s saying those who claim to be the 99%, demanding a free ride, are idiots.
        Strawman since most are protesting the economic disparity of the system, where lobbyists are paying off politicians for favorable laws to get 22000% returns on investments.  No one’s demanding a free ride, just less corruption in the US government with private parties.

        They are idiots because they want to kill the golden goose, the most productive economic model for all its citizens ever implemented.  

        I’m assuming that’s a belief that most of the protesters want to implement Socialism.  This is false.  The protests are mainly about implementing Democratic principles and allowing voices back into government over the money of private parties.  Also, the economic model doesn’t work for all if we have 22% unemployment.

        • jim_m

          The protests are mainly about implementing Democratic principles and
          allowing voices back into government over the money of private parties. 

          So private parties should not be allowed to donate money for political campaigns?  In other words no private citizens should be allowed to financially support candidates?  Something tells me that you are unable to understand that when you say “private parties” you end up including members of the public (ie voters).

          Sorry, but federal funding of campaigns is little more than a free ride for corrupt politicians.  It doesn’t take corruption out of politics it institutionalizes it by ensuring that individuals have no input.  It enshrines lobbyists as THE power in government and makes the voter an insignificance. 

          That along with the popular vote bill, which renders voters in smaller state an irrelevancy, is intended to minimize the accountability of elected officials to the public.

          And yes, the OWS imbeciles do want socialism.  They demanded government control of the financial industry.  They demanded universal forgiveness of debt which would lead to a destruction of wealth, the inability to own your own home or car and would mean that the only way to afford a college education for most people would be for government to control and pay for all college costs.

          They demanded free education and free healthcare.  They also demanded free food!  what about getting everything free from the government is not socialist?  OK granted:  in a real socialist government YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY FOR WHAT THE OWS IDIOTS DEMAND FOR FREE!!

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

            So private parties should not be allowed to donate money for political campaigns?  In other words no private citizens should be allowed to financially support candidates?  Something tells me that you are unable to understand that when you say “private parties” you end up including members of the public (ie voters)

            You do realize there are anonymous PACs as well as corporate interests in all bills, correct?  The problem is corporate personhood which distorts the incentives of policy making.  What most people want is to have more financially competitive campaigns by limiting the amount of money given to politicians.

             It enshrines lobbyists as THE power in government and makes the voter an insignificance.

            That’s what I’m agreeing with.

            That along with the popular vote bill, which renders voters in smaller state an irrelevancy, is intended to minimize the accountability of elected officials to the public.

            Voters in a smaller state have a disproportionate amount of the vote already.  If you want, I can show you how to get 22% of the electoral vote and win an election for President.  The popular vote bill would not minimize the accountability of elected officials, but it would make them more privy to direct criticism.

             They demanded government control of the financial industry.

            They’re exposing the problems of the financial industry.  The problems of F&F and guaranteeing bad loans on taxpayer money.  Hell, why has no one talked about OWS and their Occupy Homes to help people stop the foreclosures going on?  Besides that, it’s been a systematic destruction of assisting the middle and lower class through stagnant wages, monopolistic regulations, and lack of oversight.  As I’ve read some of the complaints from OWS, they want less government, or a government that will help them as well, which has not been done.

             They demanded universal forgiveness of debt which would lead to a destruction of wealth

            Not that I agree or disagree but I think that’s a little far fetched.  Can’t just forget the loans but again, the hypocrisy of bailing out AIG, Goldman, or any other business is exposing the problem of helping businesses at the expense of the people the laws of the land are supposed to protect.

             the inability to own your own home or car and would mean that the only way to afford a college education for most people would be for government to control and pay for all college costs.

            [citation needed]

            I highly doubt that most of the people protesting think that the government listening to them over lobbyists is an outright plan to destroy the ability to own a home.  It’s somewhat ironic because now that the OWS is moving to Occupy homes that are illegally foreclosed I have to really question the validity of your statement.

            They demanded free education and free healthcare.  They also demanded free food!  what about getting everything free from the government is not socialist?

            Hearing a lot of rhetorical speech but nothing to back that up.

          • jim_m

            You realize that for all the uproar over corporate donations that unions donate far more money than corporations and they donate almost exclusively to the democratic party and not a single campaign finance law has ever restricted their giving.

            Until the left decides to restrict union campaign giving every word about campaign finance is nothing but bullshit.

            You complain about corporate giving but it is nothing but rank hypocrisy when you overlook the great distortion to our electoral politics that is the unions who give millions of dollars to dems and those millions of dollars are forcibly taken from workers whose personal interests are often widely divergent from the union goals.

            As for your response to my comments about the OWS protesters and their demands you need to go back to 10/5 when some demands were posted on the internet.  There were a number of responses and you can look them up yourself.  The point is that when they demand forgiveness of debt they are demanding a destruction of the financial markets, a destruction of the mortgage industry and any loan industry.  Without loans most people cannot buy things like homes and cars. 

            Sure after these hit the internet most OWS people became frantic about not making their demands public because it was a bunch of socialist BS that would destroy civilized society.

            I suggest a trip back in the Wizbang past to recall the moment: http://wizbangblog.com/2011/10/04/good-god-theyre-dumber-than-i-thought/

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

            You complain about corporate giving but it is nothing but rank hypocrisy when you overlook the great distortion to our electoral politics that is the unions who give millions of dollars to dems and those millions of dollars are forcibly taken from workers whose personal interests are often widely divergent from the union goals.

            Not hypocrisy when you note how much money is passed for various legislation that is favorable to businesses over people.  Remember those places I linked to in another thread?  Maplight, Opensecrets, Wikileaks?  You should look at how much lobbyists pay for legislation.  Any bill you want.  You asked to be able to keep politicians accountable, well both parties are on the take.  No, I don’t think the unions do well to support an American agenda, but I also recognize that the system is corrupt and is the one that needs to be changed.  As I stated before, the role of unions has changed because the internet has disrupted their place in society.

            As for your response to my comments about the OWS protesters and their demands you need to go back to 10/5 when some demands were posted on the internet.
            … You do realize that that’s a proposed list and not a final one, right?

            Sure after these hit the internet most OWS people became frantic about not making their demands public because it was a bunch of socialist BS that would destroy civilized society.

            You’re asking various Occupy movements who have different experiences with police and nonviolent protests to agree to a proposed list of demands that one user submitted to talk and discuss on a public forum…  That’s highly illogical, Jim

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Murphy/100001624276605 Ryan Murphy

            Businesses are made up of people.  ANd you failed to answer the question:  Why do you think its fine for Unions to .spend loads of money and distort the political process?  

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

            That’s the largest misnomer of American politics.

            Businesses are able to lobby more money as “free speech” distorting the fact that businesses provide services in exchange for monetary wealth.  This has all changed with corporate personhood.  Now, Sony can lobby for support for SOPA instead of the CEO lobbying only X amount to a certain rep.  What you have is AT&T lobbying $16 million dollars to Democrats *and* Republicans for favorable legislation such as getting T-Mobile.  Or how about Walmart’s lobbying where they make as much as the bottom 30 percent of Americans?  Unions only have a limited influence and are slowly dying.  The lobbying effort is having a far larger effect on the US than union efforts to try to do the same thing.

        • Anonymous

          “The protests are mainly about implementing Democratic principles..”

          Unsure of exactly what these democratic principles might be, I googled the term. First entry went to wikipedia, Democracy.

          The second went directly to The International Library of the Communist Left.

          As for “the economic model doesn’t work for all if we have 22% unemployment”  That’s correct. Income redistribution never works.
          Put that together with out of control spending and we have the disaster of an economy we’re presently dealing with.

        • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

          So you oppose the Constitution and wish to impose a leftist totalitarian state, then.  Great.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

            Nope.

        • herddog505

          “Democratic principles”

          Except for stockholder votes, “democratic principles” have no part in business; democracy applies to politics, not economics.  For example, no matter how many people vote to the contrary, the cost of a good or service is fixed by market principles.  Yes, ill-informed people can press for laws to “regulate” the PRICE, but this often – if not always – results in scarcity if not the outright disappareance of those goods and services.

          There weren’t long lines in the Soviet Union because queues were where people went to socialize.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

      No, we are saying YOU are a idiot, and a liar.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

    Link

    Today, the 400 richest people in the country control more wealth than  the bottom 50 percent of households, and the U.S. ranks roughly alongside countries like  Uganda, Cameroon, Ecuador and Rwanda in terms of the gap between its richest and poorest citizens.
    The CBO report did not entirely explain why the gap has expanded, but noted that salaries for “superstars” — top earners in sports, entertainment and the corporate world — have jumped out of proportion to other workers’ income. The report also noted that capital gains income has spiked much more than cash coming from interest, dividends or pensions.But even the surge in top-level compensation doesn’t explain all the growing disparity. “Without that growth at the top of the distribution, income inequality still would have increased, but not by nearly as much,” the CBO said.

    Hmmm… Wonder why people are taking the fight to K Street…  Perhaps it has to do with people looking at the government data and noting where the monetary incentives are.

    • Anonymous

      Compared to the majority of the world’s population the poor in the United States are rich.  Spoiled brats in the OWS crying because they are at the bottom* of the distribution in the US, when that bottom is above average for the world.

      * Of course judging from the electronics these “poor” 99% have I doubt many of the OWS are truly in the lower 50% even by US standards.

      • herddog505

        It’s as I wrote the other day.  IIRC, The Other McCain had a post about this:

        Through the late 19th and early 20th century, socialists claimed that socialism could provide more goods and services than capitalism, and hence people would naturally gravitate toward a socialist system.  To borrow from Khrushchev, socialism would simply bury capitalism.

        Unfortunately for the socialists, irrefutable historical evidence has demonstrated the contrary: capitalism has been FAR better at providing more goods and services*.

        Desperate to keep their ideology from swirling down the drain of history that swallowed up feudalism, divine right of kings, and other failed socio-political models, the socialists had to find a new rationale for their schemes.  They hit upon “income inequality”.  Yes, capitalism might produce more, but at the (waaahhh!) tragic cost that some people would have more than other people, and (waaahhhh!) it just ain’t FAAAIIIIRRRR!!!   WAAAAHHH!!!

        So, we have the ludicrous spectacle of well-fed, well-clothed, well-educated loafers squatting in parks, drinking $5 lattes, talking on their cell phones, e-mailing on their iPads and laptops, and protesting the very system that has provided these things to them because (waaahhhh!!!!) somebody else has more than they have, and it’s been beaten into their tiny minds that this is an outrage that must be redressed.  Oh, they dress up their demands with nice-sounding buzzwords and catch phrases like “social justice” and “democratic principles”, but the demands really amount to nothing other than thievery, nothing different than a pack of hoodlums banding together to rob another man and giving themselves noble airs because “the 99%” have “redistributed” his wealth.

        F*ck ‘em all, I say.

        —-

        (*) I should add that capitalism also tends to foster democracy while socialism fosters oligarchy and even totalitarianism.

    • herddog505

      They are taking the fight to K Street? 

      Wow.  The OWS crowd are even more stupid than I thought: they can’t even spell correctly.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

        Remember how they walked to DC?  Well, as a result, they are also protesting lobbyists.

        • herddog505

          WOW!  Maybe they aren’t quite as stupid as I thought.

  • jim_m

    Of course you don’t hear anyone complaining that the top 1% have seen their incomes decline 30% on average since 2007. 

    You see.  The left doesn’t mind it when people become poor. They only care when people become rich.

    • herddog505

      A small correction, if I may:

      They only care when SOME people become rich. 

      I haven’t seen anybody protesting Fat Mikey Moore, Slick Willie, SanFran Nan, Bawney, Arec Bardwin, the Dick Trumpka, Soros, Buffet,  or any of the other filthy-rich lefties who at least tacitly support the OWS morons.

      • Anonymous

        I only care when politicians get rich as they almost always manage to do so through corruption.  Even the legal corruption (eg insider trading by congresscritters) is only legal because they make the laws.

        Anyone else gets rich legally, good for them.  I am not forced to give my money to douche bags like Micheal Moore or Alec Baldwin and if others are dumb enough to do so, well the old saying about fools and money applies.

        • herddog505

          I agree.  I despise Fat Mikey and the rest, but I really don’t see how it would help me or anybody else to take their money away from them.

          • jim_m

            Unlike the left I don’t feel the need to confiscate money from other people.  I just don’t see the need to give them more.

            Which reminds me of a conversation I overheard on the subway last night. 2 men were discussing a recent lottery drawing that was won by a group of stockbrokers. They thought it was horrible that someone well off should win the lottery. They have no problem with well to do people contributing to the lottery, they just have a problem with them winning.

            As I said, the left is happy to see people becoming poor, they hate seeing people become rich.

      • jim_m

        They only care when SOME people become rich.

        Indeed.  The left will give a pass to any wealthy person who gives appropriate lip service to their ideals.  The wealthy left even refuses to see that they are wealthy. 

        Michael Moore is a multimillionaire but denies that he is one of the 1%.  He also advocates for unions but refuses to employ any union workers on his films.  Go figure.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

      Of course you don’t hear anyone complaining that the top 1% have seen their incomes decline 30% on average since 2007.  

      [citation needed]

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