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

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Tue Apr 28 04:52:36 UTC 2009

On Mon, Apr 27, 2009 at 11:52 AM, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:
> 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?
### Here are my two sentences: "By taking from the usefully working
and therefore rich you remove the reasons to be useful. By giving to
the useless and therefore poor, you give more reasons to stay
useless". And the bonus third sentence: "Are you sure it's a good


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