Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Occupy Movement Is Alive and Well For Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

In 2011, the news was filled with coverage of protests by the "Occupy Wall Street" movement driven by the concept of income inequality. The demonstrations were directed towards the top one percent of income earners.  Since then and recently, there has been nary a word about "Occupy".  That is until Hillary and Bernie began running for President. While not actually declaring themselves members of "Occupy", their words say otherwise.  Bernie, the consummate socialist, would tax the top one percent at 90%.   Hillary, after seeing the following chart by the far left Economic Policy Institute, said that top one percent should be "toppled":

Click on Chart to Enlarge

Of course, what Hillary Clinton was aghast at was that, since 1979, the income of this country's top one percent grew by 153.6%, while those at the the bottom only saw a growth of 17.1%.  Thus, she is implying that the wealthy got that way by suppressing the wages of the working poor.

Now a few points about that chart.

Most of the growth in the top one percent's earnings occurred in the years that Hillary's husband, Bill Clinton, was President (January 1993 to January 2001).  Since his leaving, that group has basically saw-toothed its way sideways; being significantly hurt in 2000 and 2008 by recessions. Also, the recovery to the 150% mark was much faster under Obama than it was under Bush.  Clearly, the top once percent seem to benefit from Democrat Presidents.

But, who are these so-called one percenters and why have their incomes grown so rapidly.

Most people seem to think that the one-percent crowd is made up of millionaires and billionaires.  But understand that this country has about 10 million people whose net worth is over a million dollars; or, about 3 percent of the population.  We have approximately 1745 billionaires; representing just 2 one-thousandths of a percent of our population.

The reality is that, according to the IRS, the top one percent are individuals or families with incomes just over $380,000; and, the average pay of all the one percenters is less than $1 million at $717,000.  Just 235,000 tax returns in 2009 were for people and families making over a million dollars a year.  8,274 returns were for those making $10 million and above.  There really aren't a lot of extremely rich tax returns being filed.

So, why has the one percent's incomes grow so rapidly?

Well, we have a lot of people that are being paid drastically increasing annual incomes over the last few decades.  The average NFL player in 1969 was making just $25,000.  If adjusted for inflation, that would be a little above $156,000 today.  Yet, the average NFL salary is now $1.9 million dollars.  An average NBA player is at $5.15 million.  A major league baseball player: $3.2 million. Rapper Jay-Z has an annual income of $56 million. Kanye West $30 million.  Both Celine Dion and Britney Spears earned $15 million a year each from just their Las Vegas shows.  The 31 year-old Mark Zuckerberg is worth $41.7 billion for creating a premier social media site called Facebook.  Bill Gates is the richest man in the world with a net worth of almost $80 billion for co-founding Microsoft.  And the list goes on.

The growth of wealth spans all areas of the economy.  At the same time, tax policies, government regulations, and a decline in education has driven the high paying jobs off- shore.


Average America vs the One Percent - Forbes:

How Much Money Do The Top Income Earners Make?:

Average Pro Player Salary:

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