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(CNN)   IRS says that $370,000 in adjusted gross income will now put you into the top 1%. Quickest way to the bottom 1% still remains having $370,000 invested in Facebook stock   (money.cnn.com) divider line 51
    More: Interesting, adjusted gross income, IRS, left-wing politics, Occupy Wall Street, Economic Policy Institute, consumer price index  
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1063 clicks; posted to Business » on 22 Nov 2012 at 10:46 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-22 08:53:23 AM
"Incomes for the top 1% grew 241% between 1979 and 2007, compared to 11% for the bottom fifth and 19% for the middle fifth, according to statistics compiled by the left leaning Economic Policy Institute."

So they'll be creating those jobs soon, then?
 
2012-11-22 09:31:52 AM
Top 1% of income is not the top 1% of wealth. Wealth is what we ought to be taxing.
 
2012-11-22 10:17:43 AM
Middle class folks like Joe Biden sure are close to the top 1%, eh?
 
2012-11-22 10:51:11 AM

serial_crusher: Middle class folks like Joe Biden sure are close to the top 1%, eh?


Joe Biden has been a US Senator since the 1970s... I sense jealousy that middle class people feel like he relates to them more than Republicans do.


// The lady doth protest too much...
 
2012-11-22 10:58:18 AM
Salaried employee ≠ wealth
no matter how high the salary is.

But watch someone in this thread to claim otherwise.
 
2012-11-22 10:59:02 AM
Darn, just missed it. $369,900 ... So, I'm poor if I'm not in the 1%, right?
 
2012-11-22 11:08:01 AM

Marcus Aurelius: Top 1% of income is not the top 1% of wealth. Wealth is what we ought to be taxing.


We do tax wealth. It's called an estate tax and it is an entirely different discussion.
 
2012-11-22 11:10:44 AM
in case you're interested to know where you are in the % rankings, here's a handy chart:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

i'd also really like to see charts like this weighted by state.

coz, well, frankly, 6 figure jobs on the coasts are not really THAAAAAAT hard to get and the money doesnt go very far in certain areas. I bet a guy with a 60k income in Dayton Ohio has a nicer house than the guy who makes 100k in Los Angeles (unless the LA commutes from super far away) or the guy making 125k in manhattan where he still lives in a crappy apt. in Brooklyn for 2500 a month.

the trick is to do what a friend of mine did: made his career and name as a unix admin in San Francisco getting SF sal of 120 or whatever, then gradually got to work remotely more and more till he eventually was permanntly off site, moved to arkansas and lives more or less like a 1% in Lafayette. While i would never want to live in arkansas its still an interesting example of successful arbitrage if ever there was one.
 
2012-11-22 11:15:47 AM

sammyk: Marcus Aurelius: Top 1% of income is not the top 1% of wealth. Wealth is what we ought to be taxing.

We do tax wealth. It's called an estate tax and it is an entirely different discussion.


Exactly.... and in case anybody hadn't noticed the estate tax rate is being raised from 35% to 55% starting next year and the exclusion is being reduced by 80%. It is almost hard to tax wealth more than that.
 
2012-11-22 11:20:53 AM

hinten: Salaried employee ≠ wealth
no matter how high the salary is.

But watch someone in this thread to claim otherwise.



IF you are making a salary that allows you to pay all of your living expenses: insurance, mortgage, food, utilities, a couple of cars including fuel, and a couple of thousand in pocket money, and still have more money left over at the end of each month than a family with a median income would earn altogether and you are NOT gaining wealth, there is something wrong with your brain that all of the money in the world could not fix!
 
2012-11-22 11:23:46 AM

Father_Jack: in case you're interested to know where you are in the % rankings, here's a handy chart:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

i'd also really like to see charts like this weighted by state.

coz, well, frankly, 6 figure jobs on the coasts are not really THAAAAAAT hard to get and the money doesnt go very far in certain areas. I bet a guy with a 60k income in Dayton Ohio has a nicer house than the guy who makes 100k in Los Angeles (unless the LA commutes from super far away) or the guy making 125k in manhattan where he still lives in a crappy apt. in Brooklyn for 2500 a month.

the trick is to do what a friend of mine did: made his career and name as a unix admin in San Francisco getting SF sal of 120 or whatever, then gradually got to work remotely more and more till he eventually was permanntly off site, moved to arkansas and lives more or less like a 1% in Lafayette. While i would never want to live in arkansas its still an interesting example of successful arbitrage if ever there was one.



If he's living in Lafayette, Arkansas, he's paying a high price for that low cost of living...we're talking a nexus of chicken and sheep shiat odor that makes people want to drive to LA to avoid that area of US 82!
 
2012-11-22 11:26:08 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_tax

I hate that someone young, with college debt and no house can be taxed more (in absolute dollars) than a multimillionaire with less taxed income.

The estate tax in the US basically encourages you to spend it all before you die.

I would offer a new form of income tax that bases your rate on cumulative income through your entire life. When you're young and starting out, almost no income tax. After you make your first million, rates go way up.
 
2012-11-22 11:29:43 AM

Narcolepsy: sammyk: Marcus Aurelius: Top 1% of income is not the top 1% of wealth. Wealth is what we ought to be taxing.

We do tax wealth. It's called an estate tax and it is an entirely different discussion.

Exactly.... and in case anybody hadn't noticed the estate tax rate is being raised from 35% to 55% starting next year and the exclusion is being reduced by 80%. It is almost hard to tax wealth more than that.


The other side of the story: Link
 
2012-11-22 11:42:26 AM

BarkingUnicorn: Narcolepsy: sammyk: Marcus Aurelius: Top 1% of income is not the top 1% of wealth. Wealth is what we ought to be taxing.

We do tax wealth. It's called an estate tax and it is an entirely different discussion.

Exactly.... and in case anybody hadn't noticed the estate tax rate is being raised from 35% to 55% starting next year and the exclusion is being reduced by 80%. It is almost hard to tax wealth more than that.

The other side of the story: Link


facts have a liberal bias
 
2012-11-22 11:43:32 AM

sammyk: Marcus Aurelius: Top 1% of income is not the top 1% of wealth. Wealth is what we ought to be taxing.

We do tax wealth. It's called an estate tax and it is an entirely different discussion.


Real Estate taxes and auto license taxes in some states (where the tax is based on the value of the car) are taxes on wealth.
 
2012-11-22 12:14:31 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Top 1% of income is not the top 1% of wealth. Wealth is what we ought to be taxing.


Because that's the best way of producing less of it, and that's what we want.
 
2012-11-22 12:54:41 PM
Ask anyone who makes over $150,000 if they believe they're in the top 1% of earners, and I bet they'll probably say they are. People fail at math.
 
2012-11-22 12:59:40 PM

Father_Jack: in case you're interested to know where you are in the % rankings, here's a handy chart:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

i'd also really like to see charts like this weighted by state.

coz, well, frankly, 6 figure jobs on the coasts are not really THAAAAAAT hard to get and the money doesnt go very far in certain areas. I bet a guy with a 60k income in Dayton Ohio has a nicer house than the guy who makes 100k in Los Angeles (unless the LA commutes from super far away) or the guy making 125k in manhattan where he still lives in a crappy apt. in Brooklyn for 2500 a month.

the trick is to do what a friend of mine did: made his career and name as a unix admin in San Francisco getting SF sal of 120 or whatever, then gradually got to work remotely more and more till he eventually was permanntly off site, moved to arkansas and lives more or less like a 1% in Lafayette. While i would never want to live in arkansas its still an interesting example of successful arbitrage if ever there was one.


Lower Arkansas? Too close to coon asses.
The cost of living is low here in Arkansas. It's our little secret.
Taxes are high, which is bad.
 
2012-11-22 01:00:17 PM

serial_crusher: Middle class folks like Joe Biden sure are close to the top 1%, eh?


If you're trying to make a declaration, make it you coward.
 
2012-11-22 01:19:21 PM

wildlifer: Father_Jack: in case you're interested to know where you are in the % rankings, here's a handy chart:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

i'd also really like to see charts like this weighted by state.

coz, well, frankly, 6 figure jobs on the coasts are not really THAAAAAAT hard to get and the money doesnt go very far in certain areas. I bet a guy with a 60k income in Dayton Ohio has a nicer house than the guy who makes 100k in Los Angeles (unless the LA commutes from super far away) or the guy making 125k in manhattan where he still lives in a crappy apt. in Brooklyn for 2500 a month.

the trick is to do what a friend of mine did: made his career and name as a unix admin in San Francisco getting SF sal of 120 or whatever, then gradually got to work remotely more and more till he eventually was permanntly off site, moved to arkansas and lives more or less like a 1% in Lafayette. While i would never want to live in arkansas its still an interesting example of successful arbitrage if ever there was one.

Lower Arkansas? Too close to coon asses.
The cost of living is low here in Arkansas. It's our little secret.
Taxes are high, which is bad.


Wrong.

The FINANCIAL cost of living in Arkansas may be low, but the ACTUAL cost of living in Arkansas is almost catastrophic when you consider the fact that you're living in goddamn Arkansas.

/lives in Florida
//does not live within earshot of banjo country
 
2012-11-22 01:19:43 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Top 1% of income is not the top 1% of wealth. Wealth is what we ought to be taxing.


You need a boot to the head.
 
2012-11-22 01:40:16 PM

stiletto_the_wise: Ask anyone who makes over $150,000 if they believe they're in the top 1% of earners, and I bet they'll probably say they are. People fail at math.


$150,00 aint jack, sure it's plenty if you're single, but try raising a family on that and you will find it doesn't go nearly as far as you'd think.. I made enough last year to put me in the top 3% and I'm well aware that my condition is much better than most thank you very much. I make a point to remind myself of that every time I feel like pulling a "look at poor old me".

If you want to talk about math failures, take a look at yesterday's politics link about Joe Biden. He made $379,000 last year which makes him a 1%er and he along with it seems thousands of farkers consider himself middle class.
 
2012-11-22 02:01:58 PM

Mr. Eugenides: Real Estate taxes and auto license taxes in some states (where the tax is based on the value of the car) are taxes on wealth.


Too local and specialized. A more blunt tool is needed. Federal Net Worth tax. (end-of year assets minus liabilities) times N%. Simple. Not as regressive as sales tax. If you have negative net worth, the math gives you a credit instead and uncle Sam cuts you a check.

You could probably totally replace the federal income tax with something like the above given the right value N.
 
2012-11-22 02:12:06 PM
The 1% line runs right through the upper middle classes. In everything I've seen from economists and sociologists in the US and Canada, this arbitrary but common sense measure of "upper class", the one percent, fails to reflect the social, political and economic reality that it takes more than that to be "real rich".

I suspect that this is 1) a sham and 2) the best that economists and sociologists can do without admitting that the term "middle class" as used in America is itself anomalous and designed to conceal more than it reveals. After all, most of the "middle classes" in any definition are really working class. For example, the middle quintile is largely working class. This is because the working classes outnumber the middle classes by a lot. The fourth and fifth quintiles are mostly working class. There are few "middle class" people who earn less than, say $25,000. Students, part-time housewives, maybe a few retirees without pensions--most of the middle class are in the top quintile. And most of the real upper middle classes in the bigger cities are in the 1%.

This sham should be destroyed. We should start to distinguish the working rich (who don't necessarily have a lot of wealth, or any wealth, but have larger incomes) from the non-working rich who are really rich.

Note that the border line between the 1% has dropped from $426,000 in adjusted gross income in 2007 to $370,000 in 2012 (due almost entirely to the crash of economy when house prices went South in 2007--before Obama was even a twinkle in the eyes of DNC honchos).

Clearly, the upper middle classes are also "suffering" from the recession--even those who are on the upper side of the 1% line. According to the article, however, this class of people, the REAL Middle Class (as defined by Europeans and us European-Lovers in North America), is a big farking deal. Joe Biden really is middle class, although he is wealthy middle class, not hand-to-mouth middle class because of his years of high pay and presumably more or less savey investment.

According to the article, this real middle class is fairly large and quite rich:

"There were 1.35 million households that qualified for entry. They earned nearly 19% of the nation's income and paid roughly 37% of its income tax."

Note that this portion of the 1% earned 19% of the nation's income. They earned what the top 20% of the population would earn in a economy with a very high GINI coefficient--in an economy where the top 20% earned 20% of the income (no doubt this would be an economy where the poor are still poor, perhaps even more so).

These are the mass affluent. They are earning what the rest of the top quintile should be earning. They are no where near as rich as the 0.1% or 0.01% who are really rich or super-rich, but they are rich by comparison. But they are still only Upper Middle Class by any sane (European) definition of class. They are not rich and they don't think they are rich. They are merely "well-to-do", affluent, well-heeled, well-off, privileged. And they often teach their children that this is because of hard work and smarts. Work smarter, work harder and you can be like us. Their children can. Very few of the 99% can.

Economists are often among their number. Sociologists are usually in the next class down, lower-middles. But they both, due to limitations on their access to the real rich households, have to make do with a faulty definition of the social ladder. This is convenient for their masters and to tell the truth, convenient for themselves. It means their masters don't have to pull their weight, and it means their taxes are not 50% as in the UK or 75% as the Socialist President of France promised voters it would be in France.

37% is dick-all in taxes on such people, and 20% of the wealth seems like dick-all when you look up. But looking down it is damn good money. The upper middleclasses are firmly behind Joe Walsh (the REAL Joe Walsh, the singer not the politician) when they say, "can't complain although we do".

I have no real animus against this class of people. My Father was making good money in his last years of business and worth it. It helped make up for the long learning curve and the hard, long hours of the middle game and his youth, when he was underpaid relative to his value for many years. We lived economically, always beneath our means, and we still do. The upper middle classes often deserve more money because they put in the hours, work smarter, have lengthy educations and career paths, and the ones with the money are the retirees, not the workers--the workers are living on credit, earning hard and spending it all and then some.

Just because you live the rich lifestyle doesn't mean you are able to afford it or even paying for it. Debt and sham and bankruptcy support a large slice of the pseudo-upper middles and pseudo-rich. That's one reason the word "taxes" scare them although they should be able to live well and pay high taxes like so many liberal upper middles do, by being economical and prudent and well-invested.

Americans tend to live larger and to bust budgets. Optimists. I can't say I like optimism. Pessimism works just great for me. I hate debt as much as poverty. It's not for me and it shouldn't be for most people, even in childhood and youth when it is a lot easier to carry.

Executive summary:
The 1% is bullshiat.
The 20% are bullshiaters.
Don't trust economists or sociologists--they often haven't got a clue about their own business.

If you understand the American class system, you have to bump everybody down a class from where they pretend they are to the Jones.

This is especially true of women, who tend to dress themselves a class higher than they can afford. When you see a couple where she looks classy and he looks frumpy, bump her down and bump him up. They meet somewhere around their household income and standing.

This doesn't work in Europe. The guy who dresses like a gardner and potters around the garden may be the Fifth Duke. The guy who drives the sports car may be the gardner.

Europeans have been hiding from grinding taxes a lot longer than Americans have been hiding from their feeble and light taxation. People tend to hide their status more diligently for fear of being taxed at their word. They may be able to pay or not, it doesn't matter. The tax collectors don't care what you really have hidden away. They will take everything they can get.

In Greece, tax collectors have turned to Google for evidence of hidden wealth. Swimming pools and tennis courts are a give-away, often hidden behind trees or walls so even the tax assessor might not find them, but impossible to hide from Google unless you go underground.

A lot of swimming pools are in the basement nowadays, or hidden beneath the garages. They call these "grottos" sometimes. They are like sea caves, only with tiled walls and floors. Personally I would like some rough-hewn rock, classical columns, nymphs and satyrs, etc., if it were me.
 
2012-11-22 02:12:26 PM

stiletto_the_wise: Mr. Eugenides: Real Estate taxes and auto license taxes in some states (where the tax is based on the value of the car) are taxes on wealth.

Too local and specialized. A more blunt tool is needed. Federal Net Worth tax. (end-of year assets minus liabilities) times N%. Simple. Not as regressive as sales tax. If you have negative net worth, the math gives you a credit instead and uncle Sam cuts you a check.

You could probably totally replace the federal income tax with something like the above given the right value N.


That is simply beyond stupid. Besides the fact that personal taxes never, ever take into account liabilities other than very specific certain expenses, it's colossally easy to give yourself lots of liabilities.
 
2012-11-22 02:22:20 PM

hinten: Salaried employee ≠ wealth
no matter how high the salary is.

But watch someone in this thread to claim otherwise.


Don't have to tell me. Those guys spending $450 a night at the Sushi Bar back in the Eighties and Nineties are probably NOT building wealth, even today. Some of them are making so much money they will end up owning a house, but a house is a liability, a money pit, not wealth.

The property tax is regressive--yes, it is all the wealth that poor people have, but it is not real wealth and the kinds of wealth that rich people have are not subject to property tax or are but are worth so much more, and so much more likely to appreciate rather than depreciate, that they amount to a smaller, but more profitable chunk of the rich man's "wealth".

I expect that houses, like cars, can be leased with all sorts of tax advantages. Many of the super-rich in Europe are "time-sharing" their castles and country houses or writing off expenses because they open the park and gardens, or the hunting park to tourists for several months a year.

The Scottish estate might never be visited by the Milord and Milady if they don't hunt themselves, but they do appreciate the game which is shot, because it usually belongs to the estate, not the hunter. The hunter can buy some of their kill for an extra fee.

I've read a lot about the rich in all ages and a really big chunk of them are sham rich. The house is rented, the carriages are rented, the servants are rented, the jewels are rented, the clothes--everything. The food was even rented. In the 1820s or 1840s, many of the dishes on a middle class or lower upper class tables were for show and whisked away without anybody touching them. They might show up at several different houses in a week before they were thrown out or sold to the poor who didn't care about things like dying from food poisoning.

You might, if you were middle class and the dinner-party giving type or the moocher type, see the same fancy dishes at several houses if they all rented the servants and catering from the same firm.

There's a lot of hotel-living and rental-entertaining going on today. People may expect to eat what is served, but you can't be sure the dishes, the table or the food have been paid for or ever will be.

I almost pity da fools. What Hellish lives they must lead being always rich, happy, fashionable and dumber than bricks. Well, I suppose that last attribute is something of a respite and a small mercy that God gives to the greedy to save them from themselves.
 
2012-11-22 02:31:38 PM

stiletto_the_wise: Ask anyone who makes over $150,000 if they believe they're in the top 1% of earners, and I bet they'll probably say they are. People fail at math.


David Brooks, pet house conservative at the NYT, crowed over the discovery by a pollster that 19% of Americans polled believed they were in the top 1%. This is one of my touchstones for BS. I believe it is the equivalent of Talc on the hardness scale, or is it Diamond? I'm not sure which way the BS scale should run--from hard to soft or from soft to hard. It's extreme BS, at any rate. David Brooks is a mealy-mouthed bastard. This is why the NYT keeps him.

How can a system like that fail? Only if the deluded become undeluded. But the top 20% is somewhat sheltered along with their masters. Many of them work in subsidiary financial, government, or professional positions which are fairly immune from recessions. The rich may be slower paying, but they pay for the necessities if it threatens their wealth and status.

For myself, I have been arguing that the majority of the 1% are not really in the 1%. They are faking it for all they are worth, or else should be hived off from the 1% to the next 5%, who have everything in common with them, only less money, and called the upper middle classes proper.

$400,000 is not real rich. In a big city like New York, it's probably worse than $150,000 in a comfortable mid-sized or small city. Real estate is a killer. The average price of an apartment topped $1,500,000 just before the crash, and was $1,000,000 a few years before that. This is a three of four bedroom apartment like you see on TV shows. It could be one of the nicer one or two bedroom apartments on shows about yuppies or hipsters. It's not that much different from a $300 or $400 small house in Toronto or Portland. Nice, comfortable, but not lavish.
 
2012-11-22 02:45:00 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Top 1% of income is not the top 1% of wealth. Wealth is what we ought to be taxing.


I know nobody cares - but it also drives me crazy that they tax your ANNUAL income. It's even worse when you start mixing in overseas work, something I've had the misfortune of doing. I can either pay insane amounts in taxes or schedule my life around the tax calendar.
 
2012-11-22 02:56:24 PM

brantgoose: ...In Greece, tax collectors have turned to Google for evidence of hidden wealth. Swimming pools and tennis courts are a give-away, often hidden behind trees or walls so even the tax assessor might not find them, but impossible to hide from Google unless you go underground....


Not disagreeing or agreeing with any of your real points; but I wanted to add that the above is nothing unusual. Assessor's offices all over the US are using/have been using all sorts of techniques to identify unpermitted additions to the land. They'll pay lip-service to 'safety concerns' but it's all about reassessing your properties value to increase your level of taxation. There are companies that specialize in GIS software that helps them identify changes.

Of course, the low-tech approach has been around forever. They also have people who get paid to drive around and look for signs of construction. In some cases, they'll even go attend open houses when the owners are selling to take inventory (fixture count/room count/sq ft/quality assessments) to update the city's data and increase the taxes for the next guy.
 
2012-11-22 04:05:42 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Top 1% of income is not the top 1% of wealth. Wealth is what we ought to be taxing.


You sound French.

How should the IRS value your beer mat collection?
 
2012-11-22 04:07:19 PM

brantgoose:

We should start to distinguish the working rich (who don't necessarily have a lot of wealth, or any wealth, but have larger incomes) from the non-working rich who are really rich.


Seems easy: the working rich live off their wages, the non-working rich live off investment income.

Now what? Should capital gains be taxed at higher rates than wages?
 
2012-11-22 04:12:07 PM
Investing in Zynga will get you there faster.
 
2012-11-22 04:18:29 PM

brantgoose: The 1% line runs right through the upper middle classes. In everything I've seen from economists and sociologists in the US and Canada, this arbitrary but common sense measure of "upper class", the one percent, fails to reflect the social, political and economic reality that it takes more than that to be "real rich".

I suspect that this is 1) a sham and 2) the best that economists and sociologists can do without admitting that the term "middle class" as used in America is itself anomalous and designed to conceal more than it reveals. After all, most of the "middle classes" in any definition are really working class. For example, the middle quintile is largely working class. This is because the working classes outnumber the middle classes by a lot. The fourth and fifth quintiles are mostly working class. There are few "middle class" people who earn less than, say $25,000. Students, part-time housewives, maybe a few retirees without pensions--most of the middle class are in the top quintile. And most of the real upper middle classes in the bigger cities are in the 1%.

This sham should be destroyed. We should start to distinguish the working rich (who don't necessarily have a lot of wealth, or any wealth, but have larger incomes) from the non-working rich who are really rich.

Note that the border line between the 1% has dropped from $426,000 in adjusted gross income in 2007 to $370,000 in 2012 (due almost entirely to the crash of economy when house prices went South in 2007--before Obama was even a twinkle in the eyes of DNC honchos).

Clearly, the upper middle classes are also "suffering" from the recession--even those who are on the upper side of the 1% line. According to the article, however, this class of people, the REAL Middle Class (as defined by Europeans and us European-Lovers in North America), is a big farking deal. Joe Biden really is middle class, although he is wealthy middle class, not hand-to-mouth middle class because of his years of high pay and pr ...



tl;dr

Can I have some money now?
 
2012-11-22 05:28:37 PM

Teresaol31: hinten: Salaried employee ≠ wealth
no matter how high the salary is.

But watch someone in this thread to claim otherwise.


IF you are making a salary that allows you to pay all of your living expenses: insurance, mortgage, food, utilities, a couple of cars including fuel, and a couple of thousand in pocket money, and still have more money left over at the end of each month than a family with a median income would earn altogether and you are NOT gaining wealth, there is something wrong with your brain that all of the money in the world could not fix!


Wealthy people laugh at your stupidity. Not in your face but behind your back.
If you have to receive a salary, you are not wealthy.
Class warfare is not one class revolting against another. Class warfare is one class playing two other classes against each other.
 
2012-11-22 06:12:38 PM
Has anyone mentioned yet that subby hasn't a fark'n clue about how taxes or investments work yet?
 
2012-11-22 06:31:25 PM

stiletto_the_wise: Ask anyone who makes over $150,000 if they believe they're in the top 1% of earners, and I bet they'll probably say they are. People fail at math.


I believe I saw a survey a within the last decade which showed that 17% of the participants believed they were in the top 5% of income in the USA.
 
2012-11-22 07:17:55 PM

brantgoose: stiletto_the_wise: Ask anyone who makes over $150,000 if they believe they're in the top 1% of earners, and I bet they'll probably say they are. People fail at math.

David Brooks, pet house conservative at the NYT, crowed over the discovery by a pollster that 19% of Americans polled believed they were in the top 1%. This is one of my touchstones for BS. I believe it is the equivalent of Talc on the hardness scale, or is it Diamond? I'm not sure which way the BS scale should run--from hard to soft or from soft to hard. It's extreme BS, at any rate. David Brooks is a mealy-mouthed bastard. This is why the NYT keeps him.

How can a system like that fail? Only if the deluded become undeluded. But the top 20% is somewhat sheltered along with their masters. Many of them work in subsidiary financial, government, or professional positions which are fairly immune from recessions. The rich may be slower paying, but they pay for the necessities if it threatens their wealth and status.

For myself, I have been arguing that the majority of the 1% are not really in the 1%. They are faking it for all they are worth, or else should be hived off from the 1% to the next 5%, who have everything in common with them, only less money, and called the upper middle classes proper.

$400,000 is not real rich. In a big city like New York, it's probably worse than $150,000 in a comfortable mid-sized or small city. Real estate is a killer. The average price of an apartment topped $1,500,000 just before the crash, and was $1,000,000 a few years before that. This is a three of four bedroom apartment like you see on TV shows. It could be one of the nicer one or two bedroom apartments on shows about yuppies or hipsters. It's not that much different from a $300 or $400 small house in Toronto or Portland. Nice, comfortable, but not lavish.


No one forces a person to stay where real estate is so high. My husband and I moved from California to Missouri. We own our home outright but all my husbands relatives think we are crazy for moving here. Meanwhile, they are all mortgage slaves for small three bedroom homes that cost them well over a half million. Absolute morons. They make many times more money than we do but they spend every penny and have nothing but debt to show for it.
 
2012-11-22 07:20:09 PM
Subby you're only allowed to claim $3000 a year in realized stock losses.
 
2012-11-22 08:01:05 PM

Teresaol31: hinten: Salaried employee ≠ wealth
no matter how high the salary is.

But watch someone in this thread to claim otherwise.


IF you are making a salary that allows you to pay all of your living expenses: insurance, mortgage, food, utilities, a couple of cars including fuel, and a couple of thousand in pocket money, and still have more money left over at the end of each month than a family with a median income would earn altogether and you are NOT gaining wealth, there is something wrong with your brain that all of the money in the world could not fix!


Save some, but give most of it away... dead poor people are just as happy as dead rich people.
 
2012-11-22 09:26:13 PM

Father_Jack: in case you're interested to know where you are in the % rankings, here's a handy chart:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States

i'd also really like to see charts like this weighted by state.

coz, well, frankly, 6 figure jobs on the coasts are not really THAAAAAAT hard to get and the money doesnt go very far in certain areas.


That's a rarer chicken that people keep farking. I don't care where you are. You could be in the richest suburb of Beverly Hills, for all I care. If you're making 6 figures, all your whining about taxes is just that.
 
2012-11-22 09:28:48 PM

dognose4: I hate that someone young, with college debt and no house can be taxed more (in absolute dollars) than a multimillionaire with less taxed income.

The estate tax in the US basically encourages you to spend it all before you die.


...really? 'Cuz all I'm seeing is hoarding and transferring to places where the US can't touch it. If the rich were spending, and spending here in particular, we wouldn't still be in a recession.

/And yes, we the nation are still in a recession.
//Wall Street is not, but then, Wall Street is not we the nation.
 
2012-11-22 09:30:26 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Top 1% of income is not the top 1% of wealth.


If you're in the top 1%, you're making in 1 year what the average person makes in eight. If you're not wealthy, it's your own damn fault.
 
2012-11-22 10:33:58 PM

bmr68: Subby you're only allowed to claim $3000 a year in realized stock losses.


IIRC, you can use an unlimited amount of capital losses to offset capital gains.

The $3000 annual limit applies to using capital losses to offset ordinary income.
 
2012-11-22 10:35:11 PM

stiletto_the_wise: Ask anyone who makes over $150,000 if they believe they're in the top 1% of earners, and I bet they'll probably say they are. People fail at math.


Uh, i know I'm not in the 1%, but I am comfortable
 
2012-11-23 02:18:36 AM

BarkingUnicorn: Narcolepsy: sammyk: Marcus Aurelius: Top 1% of income is not the top 1% of wealth. Wealth is what we ought to be taxing.

We do tax wealth. It's called an estate tax and it is an entirely different discussion.

Exactly.... and in case anybody hadn't noticed the estate tax rate is being raised from 35% to 55% starting next year and the exclusion is being reduced by 80%. It is almost hard to tax wealth more than that.

The other side of the story: Link


Globalization makes that difficult. Easier than at any time in history to travel and the truly wealthy will just leave the country for places with more favorable estate tax laws, for example, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland. See Eduardo Saverin.
 
2012-11-23 03:18:29 AM
Glad my gramps left me his near fortune in cash and gold coins.
 
2012-11-23 07:02:12 AM

brantgoose: $400,000 is not real rich. In a big city like New York, it's probably worse than $150,000 in a comfortable mid-sized or small city. Real estate is a killer. The average price of an apartment topped $1,500,000 just before the crash, and was $1,000,000 a few years before that.


Having lived in NYC, two things:

1) In New York, you're a notch on your monthly metrocard from anything. I do mean ANYTHING. People tend to not want huge fancy living spaces - many are fine with well-placed small apartments because they'd rather be doing things. People who actually like living in their homes tend to prefer to move out into Brooklyn and Queens or go north.

2) That average is very much skewed out by multi-million dollar apartments.
 
2012-11-23 12:44:36 PM
There is a fascination with over-precision of terms. To be "rich" means, ultimately, to have enough passive income or wealth to be able to live comfortably for the rest of one's life without having active employment.

There are different thressholds for this depending on where one lives. A national number is worthless. And depending on reported income is an even worse metric. If you have to work a salaried job to maintain your standard of living, I don't consider you rich.
 
2012-11-23 02:26:55 PM

saintstryfe: brantgoose: $400,000 is not real rich. In a big city like New York, it's probably worse than $150,000 in a comfortable mid-sized or small city. Real estate is a killer. The average price of an apartment topped $1,500,000 just before the crash, and was $1,000,000 a few years before that.

Having lived in NYC, two things:

1) In New York, you're a notch on your monthly metrocard from anything. I do mean ANYTHING. People tend to not want huge fancy living spaces - many are fine with well-placed small apartments because they'd rather be doing things. People who actually like living in their homes tend to prefer to move out into Brooklyn and Queens or go north.

2) That average is very much skewed out by multi-million dollar apartments.


Oh, well then, that makes it much more reasonable.
 
2012-11-23 06:05:44 PM

Mr. Eugenides: stiletto_the_wise: Ask anyone who makes over $150,000 if they believe they're in the top 1% of earners, and I bet they'll probably say they are. People fail at math.

$150,00 aint jack, sure it's plenty if you're single, but try raising a family on that and you will find it doesn't go nearly as far as you'd think.. I made enough last year to put me in the top 3% and I'm well aware that my condition is much better than most thank you very much. I make a point to remind myself of that every time I feel like pulling a "look at poor old me".

If you want to talk about math failures, take a look at yesterday's politics link about Joe Biden. He made $379,000 last year which makes him a 1%er and he along with it seems thousands of farkers consider himself middle class.


It's because he's a Democrat and all Democrats are "for the little people" (ie. most Farkers) and all Repubs are "for the rich".

The longer they can keep that menatality going, the longer things will stay the same (ie. rich getting richer). Hint: there isn't a lot of difference between the two save some pet projects.
 
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