[ExI] The top 0.1% earn 77 times the income of the bottom 90%

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Apr 27 15:52:18 UTC 2009

On page 15 of the Economist (two weeks ago, the
"Get the Rich" cover), there was this line:

   (in 2006) the top 0.1% of Americans
   earned 77 times the income of the
   bottom 90%.

Note it was *income*, not total wealth.
Also, it is not "per capita" obviously
since there are 900 times as many people
in the bottom 90%.

So say we're generous, and via tax we
let the top 1 in 1000 people keep, oh,
say a mere 60 times the income of the
bottom 90%.

Then double what we all make in the bottom
90%, and use what's left to spread among
the 90 - 99.9 in some equitable way.

Somehow, I doubt that the top .1% is very
much inconvenienced by this, and everyone
else is tremendously better off.

Yet I have this feeling in my bones that
I am trying to circumvent a law of nature,
or embrace a logical impossibility, or
invent a perpetual motion machine. But
what is the simplest two-sentence refutation
of this?

Hell, I can't really think of an airtight
refutation at all.


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