Forum Post: 5 Facts You Should Know About the Wealthiest One Percent of Americans
Posted 11 years ago on Oct. 5, 2011, 4:51 p.m. EST by revg33k
from Woodstock, IL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
The Top 1 Percent of Americans Owns 40 Percent of the Nation’s Wealth
The Top 1 Percent of Americans Take Home 24 Percent of National Income
The Top 1 Percent Of Americans Own Half of the Country’s Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds
The Top 1 Percent Of Americans Have Only 5 Percent of the Nation’s Personal Debt
The Top 1 Percent are Taking In More of the Nation’s Income Than at Any Other Time Since the 1920s
One more fact to add here. The 99% have passively allowed the 1% to get away with this for nearly 100 years. But, a new day is coming...
agreed. And I hope what is happening is that the young generation are rejecting it just as the children of the 60's did, recognizing all the comforts of wealth rationed out to the middle class in order to pacify us into being their accomplices did not equal happiness or a meaningful life. It creates the opposite and it is done on the backs of others suffering.
Stop arguing about stupid shit and focus on ending the Federal Reserve Board. Nothing will change until this Ponzi scheme is illuminated and dismantled!
Viva la Resistance!
In a consumer-based economy the consumers have all the power. You as the consumer are responsible for the richest 1%'s success. If you don't want Apple Inc. to get bigger then quit buying Macs. Its called a boycott. Very simple.
I agree with this.. which is why I refuse to spend one dime of my money with Socially Irresponsible Corporations and I wish everyone else who gave a damn would do the same.
I work for a very successful privately held Company who's motto is "People and Planet before Profit" and it is owned and managed by people who not only truly believe this but they live it as well.
There are companies out there who are doing their part and they deserve to be supported by Consumers .. Not all business is bad.
I think using this moment to start some focused boycotts would be a great step. A couple weeks ago, some people were posting that they were going to work on a list of the 50 worst offending companies with bullet point reasons. Not sure how that was going to be developed or what would be measured, but it sounded like a good start.
And I'll bet very few of them watch American Idol or other reality shows. They take care of their business, and I believe it's time the other 99% start taking care of THEIRS(which they now appear to be doing)..
Listen, I don't hate the rich and I'm sure most of the OccupyWallst supporters don't either. I just don't want the rich people to create artificial demand for commodities, land etc (with their excess money and speculation) to make more money. The supply of many of natural resources are limited and all 7 billion people share the same planet. All 7 billion don't have right to become rich, but each and every human (including animals) have god given equal rights to air, water and soil (or land). So we ask the rich to control their greed or we as a community would control their greed, if they don't do it voluntarily.
The best macro explanation I have come across, beyond conspiracy theories that the 1% are in some secret society, is addiction. They are addicts. Anyone who has dealt with an addict knows the behavior and it totally fits- an obsession with getting their fix (profit, more money) that defies their own health, the welfare of their family or friends, or any logic. We, the 99%, also suffer from this addiction. We must shop, we must have the latest game, shoes, car, device. Our grandparents practiced frugality. They didn't shop constantly. They didn't go into debt to have a "good Christmas" or throw elaborate birthday parties for toddlers.They didn't have a car for every legal driver in the house. They didn't have to have 2000 mindless tv channels and the biggest TV possible. In order to stop enabling the addiction of the 1%, we must first heal our own.
There's also that showoff which the rich want to do that they have all those fancy things.
I am afraid this sounds like a threat of actual class warfare and tryanny of the majority. What if 99% of "the community" decided to go back to laws based on race, color or creed?
And frankly this post shows only one side, which seems to contradict an official goal of OWP about self responsibility. If you blame everything on "the other side", then you truly are a victim.
So some questions that should also be answered: What percent of the total taxes do the 1% pay?
What percent of charitable giving to they make?
How many foundations have they set up?
How many jobs do they provide to others?
The speed limit on roads is 85 mph. Is that a rule or a threat not to overspeed ?
Not sure what your point is on this one. A law usually has a stated set of consequences for negtive behavior. So are you suggesting a law that one cannot make more than a certain amount of money, with the consequences that you get penalized for it (via fines, aka "taxes").
That said, I am all for regulating and heavily taxing market speculation, which is nothing more than legalized gambling with a specific market price as the focal point of the bet. In this case, nothing of value is being produced. See my earlier post for details:
However, I hope we can agree it would be counter productive (literally) to penalize producers for selling enough goods and services to be considered "super rich".
I don't understand, if I have a billion dollars and I want to buy up a large chunk of the oil in the commodity market and hoard it. How is that speculation ? How can you stop me ?
If I hoard, prices will increase for everybody and so everyone has to pay a higher price at the pump. Oil price goes up in commodity market and my investment increases enormously in value.
It is speculation because you are "speculating" (i.e. gambling) that the prices will increase. Fortunately, most speculators don't have the $$$ to actually take possession of the commodity that they would hoard; further there is a risk that if they cannot corner the whole market the bubble bursts and they may actually lose money as they enable other minor competitors to become major players (Hunt and the Silver Market is a good example). Today, due to the CBOE, most resort to buying "options" to gamble on the price going up or down. As I mentioned before ad in the other post, options traded in this manner (i.e. purely as a means of speculation with no intent to use the commodity to produce goods and services), are literally gambling and should be highly reglated, taxed, and separated from other forms of banking.
Some additional questions I would ask are,
What's their carbon footprint ? How much water do they waste ? How much per capita energy do they consume ? How much pollution do they cause because of their luxurious lifestyle and consumption ?
Nobody has the right to destroy the natural resources we share. It's everybody's responsibility to take just what they need and protect it for future generations.
You didn't answer my question. Here is one stat for you: the indiana university center for philanthropy (do yearly studies) show that those households in the top 1% of incomes contribute over 50% of the charitable giving.
I don't have the stats on your additional questions, but as individuals, I would not think that "rich" consume much more than you or me in these areas. But I suspect you may be referring to the corporations that they run that produce the goods and services that made them "the 1%". It is an absolute fact that having a company produce a commodity, like say, paper, is way more efficient than having individuals do it themselves.
As an aside, it is still up for debate whether carbon footprint constitutes pollution -since CO2 is a natural part of the atmoshere, and it is required for plant respiration. There is evidence that plants become more efficient in the presence of more CO2 and help to moderate CO2 in the atmosphere. In fact one theory is that the presence of O2 in the atmosphere is due to plants and the fact that there was CO2 for them to breathe.
On your final point, who decides "just what they need"? Again, sounds like tyranny of the majority to me.
Further, the environment/ecomony is not a zero sum game. Innovation and hard work can make us more efficient in use of natural resources, and even provide raw materials that were too expensive or were not deemed valuable.
A good example is the Green Revolution in the 1960s that made it possible to feed billions more than we could previously in the same amount of land. As another example, innovations enabling refinement of aluminum took it from being a metal rarer than gold and into a common raw material used in many products that are essential to living today.
And look at what we are doing conversing on this site -a use of silicon beyond just glassmaking. One day, innovations with silicon will make solar panels economically viable -meaning they produce more energy over the life of the panel than they take to manufacture. I envision a time when we pave the deserts with solar panels, and possibly even solar satellites. Advances in superconducting materials will help as well. These innovations will not only allow us to meet our energy needs but also allow us to create massive solar stills to condense fresh water from the ocean.
On your final point, who decides "just what they need"? Again, sounds like tyranny of the majority to me. I don't get this crap/foolish logic. If you don't want to live in a democracy, get out!
This man says the middle class and the poor tyrranize the rich. We should give you a genius award !
You and your superior class complex! You resort to class warfare between the rich and the poor. we ask the rich to live like us and live a lifestyle like the middle class. But no, you want the rich to still lead a luxurious lifestyle, you want to be superior than others ?
Tyranny of the majority ? It is called as collective common sense in a democracy.
Further, the environment/ecomony is not a zero sum game ? I don't know where you get this idea. Environment is a zero sum game ! If you can't think how, talk to environmental experts!
I provided a number of examples of the environment/economy not being a zero sum game -in that innovation opens up new markets and efficiencies in using current resources, utilizing new ones.
You have chosen to ignore them. Doesn't sound like a reasonable discussion is possible. Certainly not one I would want deciding anything for others. Have fun.
Watch/read something else than Fox news sometimes!
"Certainly not one I would want deciding anything for others."
Somebody else decided 85mph speed limit for you. Why do you follow that rule then ? Break that rule and lets see what happens.
Just clear all the forests and see if what happens to you and your economy.
Examples of not being zero sum game. Where you learnt this crappy logic ! Looks like you are just a kid, Grow up and come back!
"I don't have the stats on your additional questions, but as individuals, I would not think that "rich" consume much more than you or me in these areas. But I suspect you may be referring to the corporations that they run that produce the goods and services that made them "the 1%". It is an absolute fact that having a company produce a commodity, like say, paper, is way more efficient than having individuals do it themselves."
What BS! the rich live in mansions which costs enormous amount of electricity to run(more coal burning). They keep 10s of cars which cost the environment so much pollution to manufacture and run. They consume enormous amounts of clean water for their multiple swimming pools, gardens etc.
I wonder if you live on Earth or some other planet !
You are missing the mathematical point. Even if the 1% use 10X of the 99%, the overall impact is only 10%.
And what gives the rich, the right to use 10 times the average amount of resources by the way ?
That they bought them according to the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
You don't have these rights if it interferes in any way of others right to clean air, water and soil (that is nature's law). Nature's law overrides all laws !
So are you suggesting a law that one cannot make more than a certain amount of money, with the consequences that you get penalized for it (via fines, aka "taxes").
If you mean do we like to control human greed ? Yes, we want to control greed in a democracy.
I am glad that the "we" you speak of is truly in the minority, and won't be controlling anything. The 99% I belong to do not want to tell others how much they can produce and how much they can benefit from that production.
The union leaders decide the wages for all their employees, I guess you are saying the union members belong to the 1%, while you and your like minded individuals are 99%.
Hu ha ha ha ha !
Just a friendly advice. Don't be under the illusion of becoming a millionaire ! Not everyone in this country can become one while 50% of people in this country foolishly believe they will become rich one day.
If you don't have extraordinary talent or you are not born into a rich family, it's highly unlikely that you will earn more than 2 Million dollars in your whole life. It's the hard truth. :)
I appreciate your desire to become rich though, don't worry we will not take it away from you in case if you do become one ;)
Now you are calling it tyrrany of the minority ? What crap!
The philanthropy you are talking about are mostly done by good hearted rich. We know what the crook rich people do very well.
If you are clearing out forests for land and destroying coral reefs with pollution, I don't know where will plant grow to convert increased CO2 to O2. Your thinking in in-comprehensive, to say the least.
The facts from the indiana university study speak for themselves without trying to attribute motives to them, whether good hearted or crook. The bottom line is 1.3% of the households contribute over 50% of the charitable giving.
So what ? It's mostly because of Warren buffet ! I know he is a good guy. There are a few others good ones too. There are many others crooks as I said, whose greed we will control.
Mostly because of warren buffet? This trend has been going on since well before he was a figure on the ultra rich scene.
I have to conclude you are trolling... caught me...
" the indiana university center for philanthropy (do yearly studies) show that those households in the top 1% of incomes contribute over 50% of the charitable giving." is what you said.
So what if 50% of charitable contributions are from the 1%. Do we know how much % of their income they contribute to charity ? It will be a small percentage, anyways they get complete tax deduction on it. I don't know how it's a big deal.
Just because they do charity (which is already tax free), doesn't mean we shouldn't tax them.
Not sure how you take a disagreement about whether pure CO2 is a pollutant -certainly not shown to cause deforestation, death of coral reefs into a belief that others have a right to pollute in known non controversial ways, such as mercury, etc.
Nice talking to you.
Where did I say CO2 is a pollutant ? Have you heard of any other pollutants or not ?
Doesn't matter, the profits of American Idol which is basically because of 99% mostly goes to the top 1%. ;)
This is a rather anonymous SONG-CHANT-RANT offering, that will hopefully unify our message on the streets. Imparting some basic historical information that has lead to the continued debasing of free forms of Government. Where a select group of power seekers never seem to have enough of anything, including us.This is a very serious time for the FREE Global Community, our only weapon is Martin Luther King's legacy. They further try to discredit us with accusations of not having a coherent message when their only endgame is to further in-slave us! Abusing others until there is only two classes the Haves and Have-Not's. we’ just not gonna’ take it no more we’ just not gonna’ take it no more we’ just not gonna’ take it no more
nothing’s been the same since jfk eisenhower warned us it would get this way a vast military-industrial-complex a vast military-industrial-complex
were out here to show the one percentors we’ just not gonna’ take it no more we’ just not gonna’ take it no more
oly norquist pledged most congress (oly’ = satire oliver north)
to his power lil’ oly’ norquist pledged most congress (piglet)
to his power
we’ know who you are were’ tired of our voices not counting
we’ just not gonna’ take it no more we’ just not gonna’ take it no more we’ just not gonna’ take it no more
were out on the streets to get our “countries” back
until foreign trade benefits---the 99%
were out on the streets to get our “countries” back
until foreign trade benefits---the 99%
were’ just not gonna’ take it no more were’ just not gonna’ take it no more were’ just not gonna’ take it no more
so, your’ spreadin’ democracy all over --the world your’ spreadin’ democracy all over --the world
it’s gotten’ so corrupt even we---don’t understand it!
so, your’ spreadin’ democracy all over --the world spreadin’ your’ democracy all over --the world
it’s gotten’ so corrupt even we---don’t understand it!
bring back our soldiers’s your cor-poor-et wars are all over bring back our soldiers’s your cor-poor-et wars are all over
were out here to show the one percentors we’ just not gonna’ take it no more we’ just not gonna’ take it no more
it’s too bad we hav-at spell it out but liars never listen they just -run their mouths
a thousand point of light all over the world
a new world order the bil-dah-burgers can go to hell
were’ just not gonna’ take it no more were’ just not gonna’ take it no more were’ just not gonna’ take it no more------
were’ just not gonna’ take it no more!
Although I'm all in favor of taking down today's ineffective and inefficient Top 10% Management Group of Business & Government, there's only one way to do it – by fighting bankers as bankers ourselves. Consequently, I have posted a 1-page Summary of the Strategic Legal Policies, Organizational Operating Structures, and Tactical Investment Procedures necessary to do this at:
if you want to support a Presidential Candidate Committee at AmericansElect.org in support of the above bank-focused platform.
They also pay the largest percentage of taxes that they have ever payed at over 40%. The bottom 95% paid 39.4% of the total income taxes from last year. http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/24944.html
They also pay close to 50% of the countries taxes, you self entitled idiots.
To put this in perspective, the top 1 percent is comprised of just 1.4 million taxpayers and they pay a larger share of the income tax burden now than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined.
Indeed, the IRS data shows that in 2007—the most recent data available—the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. By contrast, the top 1 percent paid 24.8 percent of the income tax burden in 1987, the year following the 1986 tax reform act.
Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined. In 2007, the bottom 95 percent paid 39.4 percent of the income tax burden. This is down from the 58 percent of the total income tax burden they paid twenty years ago.
What do you want the top 1% to do? Exactly? This is where I'm confused.
top 1% families $1.3 million average income top .01% 1/100th of a percent $27.3M average income http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph
One reason they pay less taxes proportionally is because a great % of incomes comes from investment - which is taxed differently. Another is charity - one person's charity is another person's tax dodge.
This is excellent information, thank you.
In organizing the Occupy Wall Street movement, I believe that a necessary demand and/or strategy would be to persuade Wall Street to "shell out" some of the billions that it has taken and given in the form of HUGE corporate bonuses to executives, etc. This movement does and will mean something as time moves on, but Wall Street and Big Banks have to pay for what they have done and taken. It should fall in their lap to take some responsibility for this pain that they have helped to create. There is no other option in this regard. The powers that be should also take immediate action to change how they filter and distribute finances from a policy perspective.
Will be in touch,
I would assume, if we as a country ask those that pay nothing to chip in a "fair share" we would see rioting in the streets. Why would this occur? Have we enabled an entire three generations of Americans.
The top 1% pay 38% of all income taxes and earn only 20% of total income. Include the next 49% of income earners and they collectively pay 97% of all taxes. The bottom 50% who benefit from all Gov't programs pay 2.5% and complain about the services they receive. We need a level program which all participate equally, based on spending and income.
You are wrong when you presume that payment of 38% share of taxes for 20% share of income is too high. It is actually too low. We have a progressive income tax for a reason. Your suggestion that they overpay based on this is premised on a flat tax, which would be horribly regressive. So the progressivity must be increased.
As well, you are wrong when you suggest that the bottom 50% "benefit from all government programs." The top 1% benefit far more than anybody else from government, as it is the government that provides them the service of allowing them to own their immense wealth and income to the exclusion of the rest of society.
What is needed is sharply increased taxes on the 1% to restore our democracy. The failure to tax the highest income earners at appropriate levels has allowed for the creation of a political slush fund among the rich that is used to improperly influence our democracy to protect their economic interests at the rest of our expense. That has to change by sharply raising taxes. It is simply a necessary part of the cleansing process.
And if you want to know how the top 1% of income earners managed to appropriate most of the economic gains we all worked for over the last 30 years, see Winner-Take-All Politics: Public Policy, Political Organization, and the Precipitous Rise of Top Incomes in the United States, available at: http://pas.sagepub.com/content/38/2/152.full.pdf
So what do u want to do ... Take it?
Stat number 3 said another way is that the top 1% provide 50% of the investment capital, providing jobs for lots of folks... Sounds like a good thing to me.
And if they own "only" 40% of the nations wealth, then they are bigger investors than others, as a percent of what they own... This says that also sounds like a good thing...
This is a bit confusing. The top 1% with each of these figures aren't necessarily the same people. The important one in IMHO is the concentration of wealth. Basically virtually all growth in the assets the last 30 years has been concentrated in the hands of the top 1%-and the number of Americans with zero assets has grown markedly. The guy to read on this is Ed Wolff at NYU-he's the leading economist on the distribution of wealth.
Don't blame the rich, blame your politicians for catering to them and not you. Corporations and the rich pay for campaigns, but we the 99% elect the politicians.
This is the real class warfare.. The people who imagine themselves to be of a Higher Class due to the riches they have amassed by taking advantage of the system they rigged have declared war on the working poor.
It is time for all of us that our proud of our country to take it back from the crooked Corporations and the politicians that they have bought.
We need leaders who are honest, intelligent and care about the people that elected them. We all need to band together, right, left, the tea party and everyone else and demand that they are doing the work for the best of our country.
We have to spend more of our resources to catch and prosecute all of the crooks on Wall Street, Washington and hold all of our leader accountable. If a politician is caught taking a bribe then they should be jailed for a decade along with the person handing our the bribe.
why do you care how much money other people make? envy and jealousy are not virtues. this is nothing less than blatant, ignorant class warfare at its worst. this is an excuse to empower an already too big government to seize other peoples property and give it to people who have zero right to it. i am sure most of you claim to be smart people, some of who are probably in school, so i have a proposition for you. in your next class if you get an "A" and other people receive a lower grade, how about everybody gets an "A" for your hard work and effort.
Yeah Turd, uh sounds like the group work we had to do in every class in college. I don't necessarily care if people are rich, it's how they do it and how they treat thier employees that I consider. I know a particular partnership that at this moment is threatening thier employees that they may shut the doors because well, quite frankly they don't need to stay open anymore as they have already become multimillionaires on the backs of men who do such hard physical labor thier bodies are ruined by thier late 40s. They took over the union so that they didn't have to pay insurance and pensions years ago. And of course they benefitted greatly over the last 10 years with the Bush tax cuts. They have cut thier remaining employees wages by 30% but they don't go without thier fancy cars or European vacations or several houses or homes for every one of thier kids or high paying overhead jobs for everyone of thier kids that they have zero experience for. They lost $500,000 a year the last 2 years. But they made bank in the boom years. God forbid they give up a vacation or tighten their own belt or sell one of thier zillion buildings. Nope, they got thiers now their employees can just twist. Their employees don't want the owner's stuff, they want a decent job and a little bit of loyalty in kind.
so again why do you care how much the make? i can see two points that you mention for this business's problems. first there were no "BUSH TAX CUTS" tax rates never went down with these so-called "cuts". maybe if there had been an actual cut costs of business perhaps could have been lower. second -unions. unions never create a good business environment. so unionize at your own risk. lastly i wonder what this business is because i can imagine another factor in failure is over-regulation.
I have a degree in accounting. I do taxes. Tax rates were cut. People at the top tiers benefitted the most. I don't quite understand "maybe if there had been an actual cut costs of business perhaps could have been lower" as a coherent sentence. Taxes are taxed on profit. A lower percentage is a lower percentage. It's pretty simple math. Many rich people also own investments. The rate on investments went down. That has nothing to do with the cost of doing business. Did you read what I wrote? I said I care about how they treat thier employees. Unions: Unions members fought and died for and gave us things like the 40 hour work week, breaks, and overtime to name just a few. Businesses do not give things like that without regulations. I suspect a troll here.
so tell me what tax rates were lowered as in "cut"? ill make clearer my point about lower taxes/cost of business. when a business has a lower tax burden they are able to invest more into their business(expand,hire etc) why do you care if "rich" people own investments or not? im not rich and im fully vested in my company(UPS). to your point about how employers treat employees- there are laws on the books that cover this. as to unions- they destroy jobs. i was born and raised in the pennsylvania coal fields. the unions and their cohorts in the EPA and the so-called "green movement" totally and completely destroyed good well paying jobs in the coal industry. if unions are such a good thing, then why do they confiscate private property (money) and give it to their bosses, who then give it to politicians,who then do favors for the union bosses;all while screwing the members by continuing to confiscate private property?
Every once in a while, I think Jim Casey must be spinning in his grave that UPS became what he worked so hard to prevent---a huge corporation beholden to outside shareholders who never lifted a package on the line or from a truck. I am UPS family from 1925, and I just sold my last shares to keep from being part of the problem. Paid taxes, (at 15% capital gains, lowest in the industrialized world) for and invested in a bank making loans to those trying to create new businesses in coal country. Yes, package delivery world-wide is more efficient than 50 years ago. But a such a huge cost.
It doesn't make much sense to deal with you. The tax cuts are common knowledge, google it for yourself. I guess you can't read. You keep responding to things I didn't say and you just spout right wing propoganda. Work and environmental regulations for the coal business were good. That is not what lost jobs and you know it. Technology and open pit mining did.
you claim to be the tax lawyer. so again tell me what TAX RATES were lowered? if the work and environmental regulations were good, were they worth the cost of thousands of jobs in just one county?( Indiana County, PA) in the late 60s through the early 80s? those jobs were most definitely not lost because of technology and open pit mining. the mines were underground not open pit, the only technology changes were from donkeys and hand picks to mechanical miners. EPA regulations and union work stoppages closed 90% of the mines in that county in the late 60s and early 70s.
You proved my point. I said a degree in accounting not tax lawyer. You can't read. There is no way you are going to understand a logical point if you can't even read.
explain it to me reeeeaaalll slloooowwww . you must know that us bitter clingers in middle america are rednecks and have a hard time reading and comprehending.
and you illustrate that perfectly..
Hey Burt Reynolds,
I only care how much money somebody makes when they make it by pissing on the country. Earn as much money as you can just do it honestly.
I like seeing stats, and i'd like to see more posted, but if people post stats, i think they should post from credible sources, government and state agencies etc, because 73% of all stats are made up on the spot and thats a fact.
Thanks for the facts revg33k.