The Rich are Different [UPDATED]

That’s why they deserve more than you.

In 2010, as the nation continued to recover from the recession, a dizzying 93 percent of the additional income created in the country that year, compared to 2009 — $288 billion — went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers, those with at least $352,000 in income. That delivered an average single-year pay increase of 11.6 percent to each of these households.

Still more astonishing was the extent to which the super rich got rich faster than the merely rich. In 2010, 37 percent of these additional earnings went to just the top 0.01 percent, a teaspoon-size collection of about 15,000 households with average incomes of $23.8 million. These fortunate few saw their incomes rise by 21.5 percent.

The bottom 99 percent received a microscopic $80 increase in pay per person in 2010, after adjusting for inflation. The top 1 percent, whose average income is $1,019,089, had an 11.6 percent increase in income.

[UPDATE: Fixed the link.  h/t James Booth for pointing it out.]


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28 thoughts on “The Rich are Different [UPDATED]

  1. Do you have some data or perhaps a chart that shows who actually does pay the taxes in this country?

  2. The rich ARE different. They never accepted the idea that they were not smart enough or ambitious enough to be more than a wage-slave. I am speaking here of those rich people who started with little and not those who inherited their wealth.

    I am not rich but I do not begrudge those who have been willing to work harder, longer and smarter than most. And have had the luck to concentrate in the right areas.

    I never seem to hear a word out of you when it is pointed out that some of your beloved entertainers are in this 1%. They are not evil for taking too much money?

  3. Typical “progressive deflection.” Your talking about income in a narrow sense, and then suddenly, your talking about income in a broader sense.

    1. I’m not sure you even understand what that chart is telling us. Before I even have this discussion with you, show me that you understand what the graphic means. Tell me what it’s all about. Enlighten us.

  4. Phil, correct me if I am wrong. The graphic is telling us the rich are getting richer. What else is new?

    1. “Rich” is non-specific and usually refers to questions of wealth. What this graphic tells you is that, as a proportion of the 2010 increase in national income (GDP), the top 1% are absorbing (stealing?) 93% of that increase. And the top .01% are taking 37% of the total. The 99%? They’re left dividing up 7% of the increase in national income.

      So proportionally, the top 0.01% saw their incomes grow by 21.5%, the top 1% grew by 11.5% and the bottom 99% saw a whopping 0.2% average growth in income.

      When people talk about “envy,” what they’re really missing is the “anger” part. I’m angry at the disproportionate distribution of income gains. I don’t give a shit if someone makes $1,000,000,000/year. Good for them! What I do object to is that person getting a 21.5% raise while I get a 0.2% raise. That, my friend, is bullshit.

      And that is one of the primary concerns expressed by the Occupy movement.

  5. Phil: A very honest respectful question…what exactly, in your opinion should be done about what you exposed here? Please be very specific.

    Thank you.


    1. Most nations use a progressive tax system to redistribute income (not wealth) through a series of transfer payments of one sort or another to ensure a more equitable distribution of national income. This ensures that demand remains steady throughout the economy. It is demand that suffers when income is so unevenly distributed and that is what tanks economies.

  6. Phil, the link you provided goes to a NY Times story about health-care reform. Could you please fix that so I can read your source article? Thank you.

      1. Tread carefully, Phil.

        He’ll waste your time just as much as Wingnut will. (

        James Booth is Wingnut’s heir apparent, his goofy apprentice, if you will. I’m pretty sure that I saw him lurking in the background of the “King Arthur/Wingnut “debate”, endeavoring to learn the “fine art of wingnut debate” at his master’s knee, well, at least for as long as his master had a knee at which to learn, that is. (*wink*)

        1. I’ve been dealing with these sorts of folks from back in the days when BIFF stalked Usenet. So I’m pretty sure I can handle it. Thanks.

          1. Yeah, I know you can. No worries. I was just trying to keep you from the “trying to multiply by infinity” experience dealing with James can be.

            That said, he SEEMS to be trying to climb out from down in that usual rabbit hole of his in this comment thread, so I suppose I should just try to encourage him in that.

            Still, I HAVE seen him in action, so. . .

            That said, keep an eye out for his “I have the BEST evidence EVER, I JUST can’t reveal it” ploy, and keep your “gibberish to English” dictionary close at hand.

  7. Zuma: What exactly is your fucking problem? Is there anything I’ve stated on this particular thread that warrants your snarky-ass responses? Fine. You win. I’m out. But know this…you are one of the most nasty, unhappy, spiteful, asshole, losers I’ve ever encountered anywhere. If your self-appointed role here at blogging blue is to just shut down any kind of reasonable debate of the issues, you’ve done your job. I’ve had my moments here early on but I’ve tried to tone down my approach. You on the other hand go out of your way to just be a fucking prick. And you’re pretty good at it. carry on.

    1. I am new to this site myself, now that DSL service has finally made it to my rural WI.

      Trickle down, does NOT go very far is the obvious point of the graphic. You’re efforts to, “tone it down,” are appreciated and have not gone unnoticed. Most appreciated, in fact. Thank You.

      1. JFC somebody remind me not to post a comment after a glass of wine. “Your,” (NOT your’re) (too f**king old to be embarrassed). My sincerest apologies.

  8. I’m sorry Zach, but Zuma, or whatever it’s name is has no real purpose around here except to push buttons and insult people. There isn’t one post where he/she hasn’t used the term “wingnut”, whatever that’s supposed to denote. But it’s fine. She/he’s got their wish. After reading Phil’s source material and doing some other reading, I came back here to respond and was greeted with Zuma’s ever so brilliant BS, and I admit it kind of set me off.

    And with that, I’ll take my leave.

    1. @ James Booth who wrote, in pertinent part:

      “I’m sorry Zach, but Zuma, or whatever it’s name is has no real purpose around here except to push buttons and insult people. There isn’t one post where he/she hasn’t used the term “wingnut”, whatever that’s supposed to denote.”

      “Zuma: What exactly is your fucking problem?”

      Well, since you asked so nicely, James, I’ll attempt to illuminate why I warned Phil in the tongue-in-cheek fashion that I did, or, more accurately, I’m just going to let “the record” speak for itself in this regard:

      As you know, James, we have a long-standing history of you scrambling down the rabbit hole, and me trying, without much success, to drag you out of it.

      I finally just gave up in the comment thread following “The Verify The Recall, It’s Working” post.

      That said, I’m happy to let everything that I’ve written here at Blogging Blue over time speak for itself, just as I am happy to let what you have written here speak for itself.

      You often struck me as being just “this close” to the kind of meltdown that you suffered here, just as Orlin Sellars did, just as Notalib did, both of whom are now long gone.

      I’m sorry that your meltdown finally came, but, the truth is, it would have come sooner or later, whether at my hands or someone else’s.

      Sure, I poked fun at you. You were an easy mark. But, here’s the thing, James, satire, an often biting and caustic rhetorical device, is a part of the kind of permissable and “robust political discourse” that the Supreme Court talked about in Hustler Magazine v. Falwell. I’m genuinely sorry that you couldn’t handle mine, but maybe this is all for the best. Zach came close to banning you more than once for a reason.

      Take care, my misguided wingnut (and we both know that you know what I mean when I use the term) brother.

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