BY FROSTY TROY
According to the Census Bureau, in 2007 the 20% who own 85% of all wealth also commanded roughly 50% of all income while earning an average of $168,000 that year.
Half earned more than $168,000 and half earned somewhere between $100,000 and $168,000.
Upper-middle class households earned 23% of aggregate income, taking home an average of $79,000.
On the third and middle step, “middle class” households earned 14.5% of the total while receiving an average of $50,000 – leaving a measly 12% of the pie for the 40% of the population stuck on the bottom two steps, where they averaged $29,000 and $11,500, respectively.
Are you as tired as we are about the whining of the rich and their dumbest defenders way down the income ladder?
They point out that the rich pay more in taxes than the rest of us, but even after taxes, the top 20% hauled home 45% of the nation’s earnings.
Those same people who want to wipe out the inheritance tax little realize that it would mean that virtually all of the nation’s wealth would be concentrated in the hands of a privileged few.
Ronald Reagan started the trickle-down tax policy but he was hardly a paragon of conservative virtue – adding a trillion dollars to the national debt.
Too many rich folk already buy and sell many members of Congress and state legislatures.
You won’t see the kept press printing the fact that from 1973 to 2005, the average income of all but the wealthiest 10% of the income ladder fell by 11%.
Take a look at the truly startling fact – the ratio of executive pay to the average worker’s pay has risen from 41:1 in 1960 to as high as 531:1 in 2000, at the height of the stock market bubble, when CEOs were cashing in big stock options. In 2005, it stood at 411:1. By way of comparison, the same ratio is about 25:1 in Europe.
Too bad the wealthy class will have to deal with hard times – no new yachts for a while.
– Frosty Troy is founding editor of The Oklahoma Observer. Tune in to Friday’s With Frosty on Oklahoma’s Public Radio, KOSU, every Friday at 7:35 a.m. and 4:44 p.m. Listen on-line at www.kosu.org or on these FM frequencies: 91.7 Stillwater/OKC, 101.9 Okmulgee, 107.3 Bixby/Tulsa or 107.5 Ketchum/Tulsa.