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hfojvt

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: South - Carolina and Dakota
Home country: Oz
Current location: Kansas
Member since: Mon Nov 15, 2004, 03:30 AM
Number of posts: 34,994

Journal Archives

I write as though there should be a standard

otherwise communication is impossible and if I say the word "rich" I might as well say the word "guipure" or "flibbertigibbet" because they all mean the same thing, which is precisely nothing. Because rich could mean this or it could mean that.

It seems to me, though, that there is a concerted political effort by many of the rich (as I call them, members of the top 20%) to define themselves as middle class, and to claim that only the top .1% are "really rich". Or perhaps it is defined in an operational way as "somebody who lives on investment income". Which would mean that if I had investments that made $25,000 a year and I lived on that amount, which I surely could having often lived on less, then I would be considered rich, whereas somebody who had a job making $400,000 a year would not be considered rich since they are living on their salary rather than on their investments.

Either way, I consider that to be a pernicious effort. One that I oppose every time it rears its ugly head.

What makes it pernicious, is that it allows policy makers to put forth policies which they claim benefit the "middle class". Two primary examples being Obama's promise to not raise taxes on the middle class, which he then defined as "households making less than $250,000". Except that plan ends up providing about as much benefit to the top 5% as it does to the bottom 60%. Or the payroll tax cut which is again touted as a middle class tax cut, but provides 27.1% of its benefits to the bottom 60% and 26.7% to the top 10%. In the name of the supposed middle class, benefits skew upwards, as the definition of middle class and the definition of rich both skew upwards.

I am on the side of the truth

and of the bottom 50%.

Those above the median income are perfectly free to have solidarity with the bottom 50%, but they are not free to delude themselves that they are part of it.

The thing is that the bottom 50% is getting squeezed, not just by the top .1% or by the top 1%, but by the top 50%. Many people in the top 50% don't wanna pay more taxes to help out the bums in the bottom 50% Instead they want more for themselves.

If all the AGI in the US in 2007 was divided equally among all the taxpayers each taxpayer would get $62,369.
Take away the greedy top .1% and divide the rest of the pie equally and each taxpayer gets $54,986
Take away the greedy top 1% and divide the rest of the pie equally and each taxpayer gets $48,620
Take away the top 5% and divide the rest of the pie equally and each taxpayer gets $41,069
take away the top 10% and divide the rest of the pie equally and each taxpayer gets $36,000
take away the top 50% and divide the rest of the pie equally and each taxpayer gets $15,287
take away the bottom 50% and divide the rest of the pie equally and each taxpayer gets $109,451
take the top 10% away from the top half and divide the rest of the pie equally and each gets $61,890

If I could split the bottom 50% in half, I could show that the bottom gets much less of the pie than the top half. In fact, in 2005, the bottom quintile got 3.4% of the national income and the next quintile got 8.6% - 250% as much as the bottom quintile.

For a person in the top 10% to say "I am not rich" says to me that they are thinking/saying "I should get a bigger slice of pie for myself". I think that outlook of "I am not gonna share with those below me, because I want more for myself" is a bigger part of the problem than any infighting I am doing here by expressing my opinion of the facts.

Edit - just to include some other averages

average income of the top .1% - $7,437,986
average income of the top .9% = $755,246
average income of the top 4% = $227,956
average income of the next 4% = $165,389
average income of the next 40% = $61,890
average income of the next 25% = $21,835
average income of the bottom 25% = $8,735

I could say

that I have learned that people will make up all kinds of ridiculous straw man arguments and hurl vitriol instead of listening and discussing with those who disagree with them

but really I already knew that.

Perhaps Pascal made that point very well in his Pensees.

Q: Why are you hitting me?

A: Aren't you from the other side of the lake? (i.e. the other tribe)

"Ideas on earth are badges of friendship. Friends agree with friends in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagree with enemies in order to express enmity." Vonnegut

1
1*2*1
1*3*3*1
1*4*6*4*1
1*5*10*5*1

What's my next line?

I think it may be this

"I'm telling you. People come and go in this forest, and they say 'it's only Eeyore, so it doesn't count.' They walk to and fro saying 'Ha ha!' But do they know anything about A? They don't. It's just three sticks to them. But to the Educated - mark this, little Piglest - to the Educated, not meaning Poohs and Piglets, it's a great and glorious A. Not," he added, "just something that anybody can come and breathe on." House at Pooh Corner p. 88


But I cannot help noticing the response Eeyore got to his little rant.

"Piglet stepped back nervously and looked around for help."


Well that's what WOULD happen.
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