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October 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm #601030
But, because the top 1% grew by 275% this is bad news?
1) Do people stay in the same income strata their entire life?
2) Would it be better if middle incomes grew by 20% and upper incomes grew by 20%?
3) Is it a zero sum game? If the top 1% earn 275% more, does that mean there is less for the rest of us? Hows so?October 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm #738624
What did Middle Class expenses grow by in the same period? My educated guessimate…”ONLY”…42%….or more…depending on your geography…October 26, 2011 at 9:16 pm #738625
Middle class expenses.. well, outside of the essentials, food, clothing, shelter, expenses are controllable. Middle class Americans also piled on more debt and debt expense than any generation or decade in our history. Now the expenses that are not controllable are the ones imposed on us by our fellow citizens… taxes. Now there is the telling story… You don’t know who is screwing you… too busy trying to pick the pockets of others to notice the thief coming through your window!
“Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.”
“Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available.”
And JanS says we have a revenue problem… we have a public union problem and a Democratic Party that is crack addicted to union vote pandering. How serious does it have to get before ya say enough is enough. 123K AVERAGE… just stunning. Sure don’t share the pain do they? Of course they won’t shrink government they are decoupled from the free enterprise economy. It’s their gravy train and you are paying the fare.October 26, 2011 at 9:19 pm #738626
And the sad part? The middle class gets hit the hardest, because very single fee, tax, confiscation gets passed along in costs of goods sold or manufactured. Your utiltiy bills, your property taxes, traffic tickets, building permits, it’s the same at the local level.. worse in many cases. I think, they think, we are stupid, because we are.October 26, 2011 at 9:24 pm #738627
“Middle class expenses.. well, outside of the essentials, food, clothing, shelter, expenses are controllable.”
Not an untrue statement kman…however, I was relating my estimate to the cost of those essentials (including benefits) rising in the same period – at a higher ratio than income – adjusted for inflation.
I wasn’t even going to touch the tax equation..knowing someone else would…you don’t disappoint…October 26, 2011 at 9:27 pm #738628
Taxes are 1/3 of the cost of living…how can you NOT address them and then have a rational discussion on cost of living? There is the substitutive effects on cost of living. I can switch my selection of grains or vegetables to lower cost ones if there is an economic incentive to do so. VW’s too expensive.. switch to Lexus, Hyundai, etc.. but taxes… nooo you can’t make discreet decisions and choices.. they “gotcha”.. much of the cost of those consumer goods and services are directly tied to the rates they are taxed. It’s a fundamental of costs.October 26, 2011 at 11:43 pm #738629
Ignoring what you don’t want to see doesn’t make it go away.
Tell me how we can miraculously control out of pocket medical costs with insurance companies raising rates and covering less.
A trend btw that predated obamacare by a good decade.
How do you explain the stagnation of middle class wages since the 70s?
The only thing that has to do with their spending habits is that it has severely limited them.October 27, 2011 at 12:08 am #738630
+40% (inflation adjusted) is not “stagnation”……..unless I am reading it wrong (which cold be the case!).October 27, 2011 at 12:44 am #738631
The fact that they used inflation adjusted incomes for the top 1%andtop 20% would lead you to believe that’s what they used for the middle class but they don’t say so and if you follow the middle class link in that story the backstorey says inflation adjusted incomes for the middle class actually regressed.
Btw..I would like to see the top 20%broken down to top 20% and 10-20%.
As a member of that category I can tell you that the top 10%’s incomes are really driving that increase.
I would expect the top 10-20% to barely break even since we also carry the top tax burden.October 27, 2011 at 12:44 am #738632October 27, 2011 at 6:31 am #738633
‘”Over the past three decades, the distribution of income in the United States has become increasingly dispersed — in particular, the share of income accruing to high-income households has increased, whereas the share accruing to other households has declined,” the CBO said.
‘For middle-class earners, it was a different story. Household income grew by just under 40% and the poorest fifth of the population saw their incomes rise by just 18% in a little less than 30 years, according to the study, which was based on IRS and Census data.
‘”The rapid growth in average real household income for the 1% of the population with the highest income was a major factor contributing to the growing inequality in the distribution of household income between 1979 and 2007,” the report said. “Shifts in government transfers and federal taxes also contributed to that increase in inequality.”‘October 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm #738634
Again, the middle class (most of us) grew by an (inflation adjusted) 40%. But, because the top 1% grew faster this now sucks? Why?
It is not, and has never been a zero sum game. There is not on “income pizza” that gets split up. If it is, someone needs to prove it to me.
So, we would “feel” better if the top 1% grew by 20% and the middle class grew by 20% but we would be worse off! I don’t understand that line of thinking.
Would you rather:
A) Get a 40% raise while your neighbor gets a 300% raise.
B) Get a 20% raise while your neighbor gets a 20% raise.
If your answer is B I think you are nuts!October 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm #738635
Again .. follow.your own limks and. take a look at adjusted income
You might also take a look at the last line of metrognome’s post.
If your raises don’t keep up with increased costs and increased taxes do you still feel like you can afford that vacation you fantasied about when you got that raise?October 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm #738636
You cannot expect to post a stat of any kind that shows increase anything over any time frame and not account for the counter-balance NET…
The NET of that 40% is what you see on the streets today…yelling and screaming…October 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm #738637
The numbers are already “inflation adjusted” salaries. That means over and above cost of living, right? You can’t double count cost of living just because you want to.October 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm #738638
What have housing and grocery costs alone done over the past 30 years? I can’t believe that salaries, on average, have kept up with these costs. That $40K house in 1981, when you were making $30K, is now $375K and that job is now earning, what, $70K? Food and housing is a major percentage of people’s expenditures/cost of living.
The main stream workers are being squeezed because they can be. Nobody wants to pay any more than they HAVE to and with the economy becoming more global there are much cheaper alternatives to American workers. We’re seeing the result and it’s not going away. This is just equalization of standard of living as other nations catch up.October 27, 2011 at 5:31 pm #738639
Well..let’s see if this internet calculator thingy worked…
“Total inflation from January 1971 to January 2011 is 453.32%”
My math is fuzzy…help me out…is that a bigger # than the OP?October 27, 2011 at 5:38 pm #738640
I forgot to mention that I do feel the ever increasing disparity between the highest wage earners and what is considered middle class is not a positive thing. People with little disposable income don’t make for a real strong consumer base. Nor do they educate their children as well nor provide America with future citizens and workers as well prepared to compete as they should be. Nor do they generate the revenues needed to maintain America’s infrastructure etc.
But the top earners are top earners mostly for real reasons, not by chance. Mainly, they’re driven people, probably more ambition, maybe have more means to begin with, but also many are just sharks. And sharks don’t share their lunch with anyone.
So do you limit salaries in private industry? I don’t think that’s a good idea. That’s where tax rates come in. But I also don’t think you automatically tax someone at a higher rate simply because of a larger income. Maybe tax someone’s salary based on a starting point combined with a formula based on what percentage an individual’s compensation is of the entire organization’s compensation.
Or based on how many times higher it is than average compensation in the organization. If you take an extremely disproportionate cut of the whole then you pay higher taxes.
So if you’re the CEO would you prefer 1/2 of your salary going to taxes or would you prefer taking home the same amount, because of a lower salary (with lower tax rate), while leaving more dollars in the org’s account for payroll, rainy day fund, capital, etc.? Just random, uncooked thoughts.October 27, 2011 at 6:22 pm #738641
the problems with these kinds of reports is that they are compiled by bean counters, which is fine, except that they do not usually provide any social context for the numbers.
To be of any real value, this report should also look at how corporate America has changed during the reporting period. Corporate America is no longer about providing good products and services at a reasonable rate while making a respectable profit, reinvesting in itself and the community that funds the roads, schools, etc. that it depends on, being a good steward of resources, incl. the air we breathe and the water we drink and play in … and maybe it never was.
The last 60 years has seen corporations grow into national and then multi-national entities, eventually becoming enmeshed in a testosterone-fueled p!ssing contest among the elite CEOs, corporate raiders, etc., to see who amass the most wealth by buying and dismantling smaller companies and then divesting the pieces, ruining the lives of the employees and their communities in the process and ultimately driving up the costs of doing business so much that entire American industries ended up in China and other cheap labor companies (and, no, I don’t let organized labor off the hook for participating in this.) How many corporate CEO’s have ruined companies and then left with multi-million$$ golden parachutes while 30 year employees lost their pensions.
Something to be proud of, esp. when they go to church on Sundays, if they have time, and vote for the most pious, religious politician they can buy, I mean, find.
The other side of the coin is the American consumer, but that’s for another post.October 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm #738642
When the article states “inflation adjusted” it is ALREADY taking inflation into account.October 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm #738643
Last time (from me)…I would love to see their inflationary figures…”it just don’t add up Sam”…
Carry the 3…October 28, 2011 at 12:30 am #738644
What exactly are you trying to prove? That they have no reason to demonstrate? They clearly feel they do. The stats you cite are time-biased–income in the last 30 years? I suspect that if you made the time frame the last 20 years or the last 15 years it would be even more biased. And yes, it may not be a zero-sum game but the bucks come from somewhere–the outlandish CEO compensation (please, don’t even try to defend that) comes from the stockholders. Companies used to offer dividends and now it is news that at least some companies are doing that again. Sure dividends benefit the 1% but not nearly as much as the retiree relying on that income.
Insert longer rant here. Restore the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and do tweaks to SSI. Both sides should give but I see no give from one side but only take–like the seagulls in Finding Nemo yelling “Mine…mine…mine.”October 28, 2011 at 12:46 am #738645
the figures don’t say inflation adjusted wages when referring to the middle class as i already pointed out. read carefully and follow the links in the article you posted.
you will understand why if you do even the most rudimentary research on inflation adjusted wage comparisons.October 30, 2011 at 7:42 am #738646
well, gee. i followed the second link in smitty’s link and came up with a few nuggets that he’s blatantly ignoring.
since 2000, middle class incomes have fallen 7%, with a brief spike during the housing bubble. 46.2 million americans now live in poverty. and 49 million are still living without health insurance.
then there’s this, from the same article:
At the same time that Americans had less cash to spend, they were also being hit with rising prices for some crucial items. Even accounting for inflation, it still costs more to buy a home, fill your gas tank, go to the doctor and put food on the table than it did only 10 years ago.
anyway, smitty, if you’re trying to say that the middle class has seen a steady 40% increase in wages since 1980, you would be wrong.October 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm #738647
couldn’t do that on my smartphone
you have no idea what a luxury a full keyboard is till you live without one for a week…
to compensate I had only a fire and incredible weather and an ocean at my door and the pelicans flying south and crab for breakfast and ….
what on earth am i doing home?
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