Poor Get Richer, Rich Get Poorer

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Despite the false and angry charges from the president and the Wall Street Occupiers, the truth is that the earnings of both the so-called 1 percent (the supposedly rich) and the 99 percent (the supposedly poor) shift dramatically over the years.

The number of Americans earning more than $10 million a year has fallen by 55 percent since 2008. As for the Democrats’ favorite whipping boys, the politically disparaged millionaires, 80 percent of them are not “trust-fund babies” as they have been branded by some. Rather, they are “the first of their family to be wealthy,” according to Cato Institute scholar Michael Tanner. A column by Tanner appeared earlier this month in the New York Post.

Moreover, as Donald J. Boudreaux, professor of economics at George Mason University, and a lawyer, has explained, the 20 percent in the lowest tier of taxpayers grew by 91 percent over a nine-year period measured by the IRS in a study in 2005. There is no reason to suppose that earnings in America are not dynamic and fluid. A young person not long out of college, for example, may be in the lowest fifth of income earners. But by the time he or she is in their mid-fifties, depending on the work they are in and their position, they could well be in the top bracket, where the gross adjusted income averages about $325,000.

The nonpartisan Tax Foundation has found that since 2007, there has been a 39 percent decline in the number of American millionaires. As Tax Foundation tables also show the 1 percent of all taxpayers shovel out an average rate of a little over 23 percent of all taxes paid. The top five percent pays almost 59 percent of all income taxes. The bottom 50 percent pays only a skimpy 2.7 percent of U.S. income taxes.

The Associated Press reports that poverty in the U.S., in this Obama depressed economy, has reached a record high.

“New census data paint a stark portrait of the nation’s haves and have-nots at a time when unemployment remains persistently high…(with) more Hispanics, elderly and working-age poor have fallen into poverty.”

Poverty differs widely, however, from that perceived by most Americans. Most of whom the government defines as “in poverty” are not poor in any ordinary sense of the term. The overwhelming majority of the poor have air conditioning, cable TV, and a host of other modern amenities. They are housed, have enough food and other basic needs, including medical care. Some poor Americans do experience significant hardships, including temporary food shortages or inadequate housing, but these poor souls are in the minority.

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  • Rifleman

    Generally, the rich get richer because they usually continue to work the hours, sacrifice, delay gratification, and make the good decisions that made them wealthy. The poor generally continue to work the minimum hours, live for the weekend, think short term, and make the poor decisions that make and keep them poor. The rich getting richer doesn’t make the poor any poorer. There’s no mystery or conspiracy there, just envy and jealousy

    • tkellybal

      That is 100% correct. Well stated. 'Envy' is the catalyst for a lot of really bad legislation.

    • Daniel LaLiberte

      Some do, indeed, get richer by working harder. But it is not true for all, and it need not be true for most, because of the many reasons it is far easier for the rich to get richer with less and less work. Even if we factor out all those reasons, mathematical simulations show that the Rich can get Richer by Sheer Dumb Luck: https://globalconsensus.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/

      And with finite resources, if the rich hog most of the resources, of course that means there is less for everyone else. How could it be otherwise? How delusional do you have to be to ignore reality?

  • shevrae

    But I don't WANNA wait until I'm in my mid-50's to make that much money! It's so UNFAIR! I wanna make that much money NOW!!!!

    I graduated from college in 1999 with $30K worth of student loan debt and a degree in biochemistry (one of the much-touted STEM fields). My job offers ranged from $22K (in academia) -$30K (in private industry) a year. I was thrilled. Granted, the economy has changed since then, but who told these kids that they could graduate from college and start at $50-$75K? They live in a dream world and will tear the real one down if we don't let them stay there.

  • truckwork

    Our form of government never promised equality in results. Results are the responsibility of the individual.

    Much of the OWS movement is based upon a sin. The tenth commandment says that thou shall not covet they neighbors house or anything in it (envy).

    Again a failure of the parents to educate their offspring in the manner in which our country and government are supposed to work.

    • Herman Caintonette

      Envy is the foundation of capitalism. Jesus was a filthy socialist.

      • Rifleman

        Jesus never compelled anybody to do anything, so he couldn't be a socialist. Freedom is the foundation of the free market, not envy. Envy and theft is the foundation of socialism.

  • Herman Caintonette

    Facts are an undiscovered country at FPM. The top 1% have never had it so good http://www.businessinsider.com/15-charts-about-we

    • Anon9000

      How dare you, sir! How dare you post a link to documentation that supports your assertions! This is FPM their is no room for proof!
      BELIEF is all the proof an FPMer needs.

    • NotaBene

      Of course, if everything is hunky-dory, why should they oppose Obama?

  • NotaBene

    Eat your gruel, you ungrateful peasants! You never had it so good!

    • Rifleman

      Lol, I guess you haven't been in line behind one of our 'poverty stricken' WIC card holders at the grocery store.

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  • iakovos

    Why the socialist myth of the rich that are getting richer and of the poor that are getting poorer is a lie