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View Diary: Won't someone PLEASE think of the 'poor rich' people? (90 comments)

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  •  If the top 1% have 40% of the nation's wealth (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, godlessmath

    And the bottom 80% have 7% of the nation's wealth

    it seems like someone is not paying their 'fair share' and it's NOT the ultra wealthy.

    You can't overly simplify this - there are HUGE geographic variations in incomes - the $400,000 someone mentioned may be a fortune in the South or Midwest but it is solidly MIDDLE CLASS in places like NYC burbs (A starter house here is a half million and local property taxes on THAT are over $20,000 - salaries are higher because costs are higher)

    BUT there are huge and growing disparities.

    Even in the top 1% the income distribution is exponential with the top 1/100 of that 1% having close to 90% of the wealth in that 1%.

    Keep in mind that the 6 Walton heirs are worth more than the bottom 40% of ALL Americans combined.

    But the reality is that those in the top 5% to top 1/2 of 1% range are paying pretty much the maximum in taxes and are bearing a disproportionate share compared to those below AND THOSE ABOVE

    This group tops out in 6 figures. Most in this range work and work hard for this money - they are wage slaves - albeit at a higher level than most.  They are NOT living off trusts but working 60-80 hours a week and working hard.   They do not have the attorneys and tax accountants the really wealthy have so they are paying a far larger percentage of their income than those below and above them.

    I'm all for paying 'my fair share' BUT a HUGE amount of my earnings goes to federal, state, local, property taxes and such - and I am all too aware of the waste - at the top and bottom.   It pisses me no end that the Wall Street EVP that makes millions pays a far smaller percentage than me in taxes.    I'm outraged that the Greenwich hedge fund guy pays 15% on 'capital gains' instead of 38% income tax......and THAT is on hundreds of millions.

    Life isn't fair but you should try to leave it fairer than you found it.

    by xrepub on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 07:28:30 PM PST

    •  I agree with most (0+ / 0-)

      except for the part about using cost-of-living as a measure of who is rich. Cost-of-living is only useful in determining who is poor. That is a subtle, but important difference.

      To put it one way, what do people living in Arkansas with an income of 400k a year do with their money? Well, they visit New York City, one of the most vibrant and enigmatic places in the world, and express jealousy over the people who can afford even a small starter home in the 'burbs.

      To be even more extreme, you can't say you are poor because you can barely afford that starter home in Beverly Hills.

      Owning property in a place like New York City is a luxury item itself. That is the whole reason why it is so expensive: it is an amazing place and everyone wants to be there. Most poor people can't even take their families there on vacation.

      •  Some of us were born there, you know. (0+ / 0-)

        And would prefer not to leave all our family and friends. It's not luxury, it's home. (and yes, I rent, could not possibly afford to own here)

        •  The part I refered to as a luxury (0+ / 0-)

          was owning a home in the New York City suburbs. Shelter is a necessity, anywhere, which is why the cost of finding shelter is useful in determining who is poor. However, owning a house is not a necessity.

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