The Growing Wealth Gap Between the Top 0.1 Percent and the rest of the world reminds me of the San Francisco-San Andreas Faultline: Big and Growing.
Before you start knocking on doors with your tin cup, you have to really flesh out your list of One-Percenters You Love To Hate, and really figure out who the so-called “bad guys” really are- because it turns out that you may be wasting your protest energy on a no-so-rich #One-Percenter.
#Forbes Magazine just came out with a racey economics article on who in fact is really pulling an Uncle Scruge on net earnings, and it turns out that it is only the top of the One-Percent iceberg- the 0.1 Percent. That means that the top (315,000 Americans) is netting half of all the capital gains (the crazy money OWS thinks about when they are protesting).
Capital gains, as everybody knows, largely benefit the wealthy and are taxed at a rate of about 15 percent — lower than the 26.5 percent top effective tax rate paid by households making less than $100,000 in 2006. Thus why ‘capital gains tax‘ accounts for much of the debate on tax reform and seriously cotnributes to the widening wealth gap!
In fact, between 1979 and 2007, this little tax protection nugget assured that the Top One-Percent of earners would see their income grow by 275 Percenet! Yet for the rest of Americans, the income growth was a mere 20 Percent. Sounds pretty unfair and pretty damn uneven to me. Even better is the fact that the richest 10 Percent of Americans control Two-Thirds of the US’s net worth. That’s a lot of Zeros. More telling is the study put out by Citizens for Tax Justice which reported that 30 of America’s most profitable companies PAID LESS THAN ZERO in income taxes in the last 3 years! Thanks to loopholes, these companies can lower their tax burden by a lot.
Anyway, this is another reason why the richer get (and stay) richer and the poor get poorer (and start to protest!)
Hence, #OWS: Wear goggles out there!
- Very Small Percentage Of Americans Netting Most Of Capital Gains (huffingtonpost.com)
- Buffett-Ducking Billionaires Avoid Reporting Cash Gains to IRS (businessweek.com)
- Forbes and Yahoo: http://news.yahoo.com/top-0-1-nation-earn-half-capital-gains-172647859.html