Thursday, November 3, 2011

Who Are The Top 1%?

Thomas Sowell:
As for the “top 1 percent” in income that attract so much attention, angst, and denunciation, there is always going to be a top 1 percent, unless everybody has the same income. That top 1 percent has no more monopoly on sainthood or villainy than people in any other bracket.

Nor does that top 1 percent consist of the “millionaires and billionaires” that Barack Obama talks about. You don’t even have to make half a million dollars to be in the top 1 percent.
Moreover, this is not an enduring class of people. Nor are people in other income brackets predetermined to stay there. Most of the people in the top 1 percent at any given time are there for only one year. Anyone who sells an average home in San Francisco can get into the top 1 percent in income — for that year. Other one-time spikes in income account for most of the people in that top 1 percent.
But such plain facts carry little weight amid the heady rhetoric and mindless emotions of the mob and the media.

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