Let’s Be Real: You’re Rich

We “salt of the earth” are frequently requested by the MSM to offer shoulders to cry on to the rich, who, disliking infamy, whine publicly about how $250,000/year doesn’t make one rich, because how do you afford private school for your kids, a nanny, and law school debt on only a quarter mil? You can’t. Therefore, poof, not rich.

But let’s look at some numbers. All of this class stuff brought out by the recession has been treated nebulously by the MSM. It’s all soft articles, with lots of sympathy for the hard-working, deserving wealthy, and little hard information about the reality of class in America or what the wealth and income disparities really look like.

DID YOU KNOW that as of 2006 the richest 5% of household income earners included everyone making $174,012* or above? That means if you, or all the income earners in your household combined, make $175,000/year, you are among the wealthiest 5% in the country.

Let me say this clearly: If your household makes $175,000 or more annually, YOU ARE CATEGORICALLY RICH.

But get this: to be amongst the richest 20% of Americans, in 2006, you needed to be making $97,032 annually or above. For comparison, to be among the poorest 20%, you need to be making below $20,035. Does that mean the top 20% is considered wealthy? Or is it the top 10%? 5%? 1%? Certainly the upper 20% are members of some sort of upper class. Do they acknowledge this? I have a feeling that people who earn $97,032 a year consider themselves middle class. However, the middle 20% of earners pull down $37,774 to $60,000 (in 2006). And this is per household, not per individual. So who is really middle class and who is pretending to be? Why do people who are actually quite flush honestly think that they are middle class? Perhaps middle class means something different than middle income or middle wealth? In real life, “middle class” seems to mean “struggling”, but with housing, food, education, and other basic rights intact. It does not mean hired help, private school, and owning a home.

*Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Historical Income Tables—Households, Tables H1, H2.

The rich seem to compare themselves to the super-rich, i.e. the top 1%, who make $350,000/year or more, (their average household annual income is about $1,000,000), when complaining about how they are unfairly demonized by, for example, tax brackets. What this demonstrates is that when we think of the “rich”, we are encouraged to think of the “super rich”, a smallish cadre of elites whom most of us will never meet or even glimpse in person. I hope that we can start looking at the top 5%, 10%, and 20% and help them to realize that though these households are not part of the plutocracy, they are indeed wealthy and must, at the very least, stop whining.

For fun with charts and graphs, click to continue:

United States Wealth Distribution, 2007
Source

Stock and Bond Distribution in the US
Source

US Income Inequality over Time

Ratio of Wealthiest 1% to Median
Source

Ratio of CEO Pay to Average Worker

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2 thoughts on “Let’s Be Real: You’re Rich

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