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Quercki : wealth   35

For the first time ever, taxes on the 400 richest Americans were lower than taxes on everyone else / Boing Boing
In 2018, for the first time in recorded US history, the 400 richest American households paid a lower rate of tax than any other group of American taxpayers: 23%, down from 70% in 1950 and 47% in 1980.

The data come from a new book, The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay, co authored by Gabriel Zucman (previously), the Piketty-trained "wealth detective" who is one of the world's leading experts on tax evasion by the wealthy, and on strategies for forcing them to pay their share.

In their book, Saez and Zucman sketch out a modern progressive tax code. The overall tax rate on the richest 1 percent would roughly double, to about 60 percent. The tax increases would bring in about $750 billion a year, or 4 percent of G.D.P., enough to pay for universal pre-K, an infrastructure program, medical research, clean energy and more. Those are the kinds of policies that do lift economic growth.

One crucial part of the agenda is a minimum global corporate tax of at least 25 percent. A company would have to pay the tax on its profits in the United States even if it set up headquarters in Ireland or Bermuda. Saez and Zucman also favor a wealth tax; Elizabeth Warren’s version is based on their work. And they call for the creation of a Public Protection Bureau, to help the I.R.S. crack down on tax dodging.
1%  billionaire  taxes  wealth  IRS  fraud 
7 days ago by Quercki
Mapped: The Wealthiest and Poorest County in Every U.S. State
The Wealthiest and Poorest County in Every U.S. State

View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.

The average U.S. state is made up of 62 counties.

With so many counties spread throughout each state in the nation, it’s not surprising that we can find counties that exemplify almost any part of the American experience.

In this case, we’re comparing county-level data to look at the differences in economic opportunity within each state. More specifically, we are looking at the range of median household income, which is one proxy for the difference in economic status between counties.
Disparity by State

Today’s infographic comes to us from TitleMax, and it looks at the wealthiest and poorest counties in each individual U.S. state based on the measure of median household income.
wealth  data  graphs 
11 weeks ago by Quercki
Billionaires and ultra-wealthy Americans are asking for a wealth tax - Business Insider
A group of 18 ultra-wealthy Americans including George Soros and Abigail Disney published an open letter asking presidential candidates to support a moderate wealth tax, a copy of the letter published by The New York Times shows.
The revenue of the wealth tax could be used to fund environmental initiatives, fuel economic investment, and fund health care, according to the letter, in addition to protecting America's democracy by reducing inequality.
The letter's signatories are among the 74% of Americans who support the introduction of a wealth tax, a 2019 survey published by The Hill found.
wealth  tax  billionaire  support 
june 2019 by Quercki
Microsoft Word - saez-zucman-wealthtax-warren-v5.docx - saez-zucman-wealthtax-warren.pdf
Wealth inequalityOne of the key motivations for introducing a progressive wealth tax is to curb the growing concentration of wealth. The figure below depicts the evolution of the share of wealth going to the top 0.1% of wealth holders vs. the bottom 90% based on the Saez and Zucman (2016) data (updated to 2016). It shows that the top 0.1% wealth share has increased dramatically from about 7% in the late 1970s to around 20% in recent years. Conversely, the wealth shareof the bottom 90% of families has declined from about 35% in the late 1970s to about 25% today. This fall has been primarily the consequence of increased debt for the bottom 90% (through mortgage refinance, consumer credit, and student loans). As a result, the top 0.1% today owns almost as much wealth asthe bottom90% of US families, which includes the vast majority of US families.
wealth  inequality  income  Elizabeth_Warren  taxes 
june 2019 by Quercki
Why Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax Would Work | The New Yorker
In theory, there is nothing to prevent Congress from abolishing the “step-up in basis” loophole and raising the capital-gains tax rate. In 2016, the Obama Administration suggested doing both of these things, but the Republicans who controlled Congress ignored the proposal. Theoretically, we could go even further in this direction, forcing taxpayers to declare their over-all wealth every year on the basis of market prices, and making them pay the capital-gains tax on any increase over the previous year. “That’s the obvious thing to do,” Kopczuk said. “You can go much further in the direction of taxing wealth accruals on an annual basis, compared to what we are doing now.”

As the election campaign moves along, critics of Warren’s proposal are sure to repeat these types of arguments. But the designers and supporters of the Warren plan have already anticipated many of them, including the issue of tax evasion and avoidance. In their written assessment of the Warren proposal, Saez and Zucman assume that “households subject to the wealth tax are able to reduce their reported net worth by 15% through a combination of tax evasion and tax avoidance.” The $2.75 trillion revenue projection takes this level of evasion into account.
Elizabeth_Warren  wealth  taxes  capital_gains 
june 2019 by Quercki
Elizabeth Warren 2020 interview: her theory of the presidency - Vox
The 2020 candidate on how she’d get rid of the filibuster, curb political corruption, and persuade Americans that government can work for them.
By Ezra Klein@ezraklein Jun 12, 2019, 8:50am EDT
Transcription by Catherine Kim
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Oligarchic capitalism? Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has a plan for that. Opioid deaths? She’s got a plan for that, too. Same is true for high housing costs, offshoring, child care, breaking up big tech, curbing congressional corruption, indicting presidents, strengthening reproductive rights, forgiving student loans, providing debt relief to Puerto Rico, and fixing the love lives of some of her Twitter followers. Seriously.

But how’s Warren going to pass any of these plans? Which policy would she prioritize? What presidential powers would she leverage? What argument would she make to her fellow Senate Democrats to convince them to abolish the filibuster? What will she do if Mitch McConnell still leads the Senate? What about climate change?

I caught her on a campaign swing through California to ask about that meta-plan. The plan behind her plans.
Elizabeth_Warren  Ezra_Klein  wealth  inequality  podcast  transcript 
june 2019 by Quercki
Elizabeth Warren isn’t Hillary Clinton - Vox
Warren’s plans underscore her longstanding loathing of what American capitalism has curdled into.

It’s common for Democrats to talk about income inequality. Warren fixates on wealth inequality. During our conversation, she used the word “wealth” 23 times but mentioned “income” only four times. There’s a reason for that. Wealth is where income pools into power and privilege. When your money comes from income, it is, at least in theory, being earned through work. When it’s just wealth creating more wealth, it’s a hoarding of resources divorced from the labor and innovation that drives economies forward.

“Think of it this way,” she told me. “The bottom 99 percent last year paid all-in on their taxes 7.2 percent of their total wealth. Top 1 percent? They paid 3.2 percent of their total wealth.” Those huge fortunes, she continued, “are growing on their own. They are now capital. You don’t have to work if you’ve got one of those big fortunes. Those things are managed by professional managers.” Listen to how Warren talks about this. It offends her.
Elizabeth_Warren  Ezra_Klein  wealth  inequality 
june 2019 by Quercki
America for sale: 38% of all election funding comes from 0.0001% of Americans (2,210 people account for 25% of the total) / Boing Boing
0.5% of Americans given $200 or more in campaign contributions, accounting for 66% of all campaign funding, but that's nothing: only 0.0001% give $10,000 or more, and their donations are 38% of all the money sloshing around in US electoral campaign coffers.

That means a mere 37,000 people account for more than a third of US campaign finance, out of a population of 325,700,00 people.

But even these 37,000 are small fry compared to the 2,210 people who account for 25% of all campaign spending: $1.1 billion in total.

And of course, that's just the money we know about. Thanks to Citizens United, which allowed for unlimited, anonymous campaign spending, there's billions more spent by "dark money groups" whose funders are a secret.
campaign  finance  election  giving  wealth  1% 
november 2018 by Quercki
Trump lied to me about his wealth to get onto the Forbes 400. Here are the tapes. - The Washington Post
Trump wasn’t just poorer than he said he was. Over time, I have learned that he should not have been on the first three Forbes 400 lists at all. In our first-ever list, in 1982, we included him at $100 million, but Trump was actually worth roughly $5 million — a paltry sum by the standards of his super-monied peers — as a spate of government reports and books showed only much later.
Trump  business  wealth  taxes  lies 
april 2018 by Quercki
What We Get Wrong About Closing the Racial Wealth Gap
Blacks, while constituting just under thirteen percent of the nation’s population, collectively own less than three percent of the nation’s total wealth (Moore 2015).
Patently, wealth is far more unequally distributed than income. While income primarily is earned in the labor market, wealth is built primarily by the transfer of resources across generations, locking-in the deep divides we observe across racial groups (Shapiro 2004, Gittleman and Wolff 2004, Hamilton and Darity 2010).
In this report, we address ten commonly held myths about the racial wealth gap in the United States. We contend that a number of ideas frequently touted as “solutions” will not make headway in reducing black-white wealth disparities. These conventional ideas include greater educational attainment, harder work, better financial decisions, and other changes in habits and practices on the part of blacks. While these steps are not necessarily undesirable, they are wholly inadequate to bridge the racial chasm in wealth.
These myths support a point of view that identifies dysfunctional black behaviors as the basic cause of persistent racial inequality, including the black-white wealth disparity, in the United States. We systematically demonstrate here that a narrative that places the onus of the racial wealth gap on black defectiveness is false in all of its permutations.
inequality  race  economics  wealth  Black 
april 2018 by Quercki
Shop Here, Not There: Science Says Reducing Inequality Is Almost That Simple by Chris Winters — YES! Magazine
In the paper “Crowdsourcing the Robin Hood Effect in Cities,” published in June in the journal Applied Network Science, the researchers describe a computer algorithm they created that attempts to “rewire” the complex network of commercial transactions and shopping trips people take part in every day. The goal is to redirect more money to poorer neighborhoods so that the wealth differences between rich and poor parts of a city are evened out.

The study used data from 150,000 people and 95,000 businesses in Barcelona and Madrid, and on the surface the pattern of transactions and the money spent revealed that some neighborhoods were up to five times wealthier than others. But researchers were shocked to find that if as few as 5 percent of commercial transactions were changed—so that capital flowed from richer to poorer neighborhoods—income inequality in those cities was drastically reduced, up to 80 percent.

“We were not expecting that,” said one of the study’s authors, Maxime Lenormand of the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture in Montpelier, France. “Actually, I checked the algorithm because I was not sure in the beginning that everything was OK in the code.”
wealth  inequality  solution  local  algorithm 
december 2017 by Quercki
The Wealth Gap Between Whites and Blacks Is Widening The myth of racial equality is having real and devastating consequences.
white racism, however, is its practical effects: a widening wealth gap between blacks and whites. Between 1983 and 2013, according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, the wealth of the median black household declined 75 percent (from $6,800 to $1,700), and the median Latino household declined 50 percent (from $4,000 to $2,000). At the same time, wealth for the median white household increased 14 percent from $102,000 to $116,800. It’s an almost unbelievable contrast, and by 2020, black and Latino households are projected to lose even more wealth: 18 percent for the former, 12 percent for the latter. After those declines, the median white household will own 86 times more wealth than its black counterpart, and 68 times more wealth than its Latino one. This isn’t a wealth gap—it’s a wealth chasm.
If nothing is done, that chasm will grow larger. By 2024, “the continued rise in racial wealth inequality between median black, Latino and white households is projected to lead White households to own 99 and 75 times more wealth than their black and Latino counterparts, respectively.”
race  wealth  inequality 
september 2017 by Quercki
Another way the rich get richer: Study shows a widening gap in life expectancy between rich and poor - LA Times
one of the most oft-proposed nostrums for “fixing” Social Security’s fiscal problem — raising the retirement age — translates into a benefit cut, disproportionately hurting the middle class and the poor. The National Academy of Sciences calculated in 2015 that raising the official retirement age to 70 (it’s 66 for those born in 1943-54) would reduce the benefits of those in the lowest fifth of income earners by 25%, but only 20% for those in the top fifth of the income ladder.
social  security  poor  wealth 
may 2017 by Quercki
Who Rules America: Wealth, Income, and Power
Wealth, Income, and Power
by G. William Domhoff
This document presents details on the wealth and income distributions in the United States, and explains how we use these two distributions as power indicators. The most striking numbers on income inequality will come last, showing the dramatic change in the ratio of the average CEO's paycheck to that of the average factory worker over the past 40 years.
wealth  power  1% 
march 2017 by Quercki
Wealth Inequality in America - YouTube
Published on Nov 20, 2012
Infographics on the distribution of wealth in America, highlighting both the inequality and the difference between our perception of inequality and the actual numbers. The reality is often not what we think it is.

References:
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2...
http://danariely.com/2010/09/30/wealt...
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011...
http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/19/news/...
Category
wealth  video  inequality  economics 
february 2016 by Quercki
The "Calvinist Work Ethic"
Most U.S. people, on the other hand, seem psychologically impelled to work much too hard for no obvious reason. Many of us actually feel guilty if we aren't working much too hard.   And we tend to think very highly of people who hate what they do; that is irrationally seen as somehow more virtuous than having a job one loves!  
This workaholic attitude is often treated (by people in the U.S.) as just common sense, just part of human nature. It's not. It's a distinct phenomenon, only a few centuries old (that is, very, very recent in terms of human history), localized to a few areas of the globe, and with specific causes in those areas. *
* (The Japanese traditional devotion to duty requires a similar self-discipline, but in other respects is very different from the usual U.S. workaholism.)
If you and your parents were born and raised in the U.S., chances are that you have this "workaholism" in some form or another.
This workaholism can be very unfortunate in itself, but what is perhaps most damaging is that it was also often accompanied by a devastating secret self-doubt and self-judgmentalism, and a very rigid sense of self-righteousness and dehumanization of others.  This tendency can sneak in even today, even in people who would be appalled by it, if they were aware of it.
 
3. Where did it come from?
Max Weber hypothesized that this workaholism came from one particular kind of Puritanish Protestant religion, the kind that holds that God has already predetermined which of us will be "saved" and which damned before we are ever conceived and born. (John Calvin is a prime example of such a "predestination" theologian.) Hence, Weber coined the term “Protestant work ethic" or sometimes “Calvinist work ethic.”   (Some other forms of Protestant Christianity share this ideology, but some don’t, though in the U.S. most have it to some degree.)
Now, at first glance, there doesn't seem much to connect a small, heterodox strain of Christianity with the modern, largely secular U.S.'s workaholic tendencies. But the connection is there.
 
Calvinism  prosperity  work  wealth  Christian 
august 2015 by Quercki
Frack John Calvin
John Calvin has been dead for almost 450 years, but his ghost still haunts America.  Those conservative talking points to which Muskegon refers come from Calvin's screwed up eschatalogical ideas about predestination and its connection to one's status in this life.  In short, if things aren't going so great for you on this earth, it must be because God doesn't love you and didn't elect (choose) you to go to heaven.  It's nothing but crappy theology rejected by the overwhelming majority of Christians, but by some accidents of history, it's infected the way Americans, and rather peculiarly Americans, feel about themselves and how they relate to their communities.

It is pounded in us from birth by this twisted culture of ours that our socio-economic status reflects our worth as human beings.  This culture--not just the Republicans, the MSM or the Christian fundies--does everything possible to shift our attention away from the economic system and its faults and corruptions and put all the blame on ourselves when we are mere pawns in the Masters' power and greed games.

That's where the guilt comes from.  (And we won't even get into the whole sex thing.)
Calvinism  predestination  Christian  prosperity  wealth 
august 2015 by Quercki
SKYROCKETING CEO PAY IS BAD FOR OUR ECONOMY
To elaborate, the problems are as follows:
1. How CEOs Are Paid
The current trend in how CEOs are paid, particularly with stock options, creates a range of economic problems. Several studies show that equity-heavy pay, because it makes executives very wealthy very quickly, distorts CEOs’ incentives, inducing them to take on too much risk. Instead of bearing this risk themselves, they shift it onto the rest of society, as we saw during the financial crisis. This model also encourages executives to behave fraudulently, as in the backdating scandals of a decade ago, and lessens their motivation to invest in their businesses. In addition, according to economist William Lazonick, in order to issue stock options to top executives while avoiding the dilution of their stock, corporations often divert funds to stock buybacks rather than spending on research and development, capital investment, increased wages, or new hiring. To top it all off, these pay packages cost taxpayers billions of dollars due to the performance pay tax loophole instituted by President Clinton.
2. How Much CEOs Are Paid
In addition to its problematic structure, the sheer volume of CEO pay creates an array of economic problems. A handful of high-profile economists—Thomas Piketty, Joseph Stiglitz, and Robert Reich, to name a few—have begun to make the case that a high degree of economic inequality precipitates financial instability because it leads to, for example, a decline in consumer demand, which has tremendous spillover effects in terms of investment, job creation, and tax revenue, not to mention social instability.
The growth of executive pay is a core driver of America’s rising economic inequality. According to the Economic Policy Institute, “[e]xecutives, and workers in finance, accounted for 58 percent of the expansion of income for the top 1 percent and 67 percent of the increase in income for the top 0.1 percent from 1979 to 2005.” Another calculation by economists Ian Dew-Becker and Robert Gordon finds that the large increase in the share of the top .01 percent is mostly explained by the incomes of superstars and CEOs.
wealth  inequality  economy 
july 2015 by Quercki
Women of Color, Wealth, and America’s Future
Main Findings
• Single black and Hispanic women have a median wealth of $100 and $120 respectively; the median for single white women is $41,500.
• While white women in the prime working years of ages 36-49 have a media wealth of $42,600, the media wealth for women of color is only $5.
• Nearly half of all single black and Hispanic women have zero or negative wealth, the latter of which occurs when debts exceed assets.
• While 57 percent of single white women own homes, only 33 percent of single black women and 28 percent of single Hispanic women are homeowners.
• Only 1 percent of single Hispanic women and 4 percent of single black women own business assets compared to 8 percent of single white women.
• Social Security is the only source of retirement income for more than 25 percent of black women.
• Prior to age 50, women of color have virtually no wealth at all.
pdf  women  race  money  economics  wealth  statistics  POC  black 
february 2015 by Quercki
Appendix 1: Census Wealth and Asset Ownership Data | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project
The Census Bureau collects ongoing data on the nation’s wealth and ownership of assets in the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Modules on wealth have existed since 1984, and for many years the Census Bureau published wealth reports in its SIPP P-70 report series. Gottschalk (2008) is a good introduction to the wealth data based on SIPP. The most recent SIPP wealth collection occurred as part of wave 10 of the 2008 SIPP panel. Interviews occurred over September to December 2011 and refer to assets and liabilities as of the last day of the prior month. The 2009 data (wave 4 of the 2008 SIPP panel) were collected in similar fashion and hence the two wealth snapshots presented in this report are representative of the nation’s wealth in August to November of 2009 and 2011. The 2011 data were based on interviews with about 31,000 households.

The wealth tabulations in this report are based on tabulations of the SIPP data published by the Census Bureau. The 2011 tabulations were published by the Census Bureau on March 21, 2013.
money  wealth  inequality  statistics 
june 2014 by Quercki
References | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project
DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith. 2012. “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011.” Current Population Reports, Consumer Income, P60-243. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau, September.

Gottschalck, Alfred O. 2008. Net Worth and the Assets of Households: 2002. Current Population Report P70-115. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau, April.

Gottschalck, Alfred, Marina Vornovytskyy, and Adam Smith. 2012. Household Wealth in the U.S.: 2000 to 2011. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau, March.

Orzechowski, Shawna, and Peter Sepielli. 2003. Net Worth and Asset Ownership of Households: 1998 and 2000. Current Population Report P70-88. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau, May.
money  wealth  inequality  statistics 
june 2014 by Quercki
Chapter 4: Comparison of the Census Wealth Tabulations to the Fed’s Flow of Funds Net Worth Data | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project
The Federal Reserve Bank measures household wealth in a somewhat different way than does the U.S. Census Bureau, but its reports provide corroboration of the picture emerging from recently released Census wealth tabulations. As with the Census Bureau data, the Fed data show that all of the growth in aggregate wealth from 2009 to 2011 can be accounted for by the increase in the value of financial assets.

There are a number of differences between the Federal Reserve data and the Census Bureau tabulations. Among these differences, the Fed data refer to the assets and liabilities owned by the nation’s nonprofit organizations as well as households. In addition, they are in nominal dollars and not adjusted for inflation.

However, as with the Census data, the Fed data show a rise in wealth from 2009 to the fourth quarter of 2011. Likewise, the Fed data indicate that most of the growth in the nation’s wealth during that period was due to an increase in the value of financial assets. From 2009 to the fourth quarter of 2011, financial assets increased in value by $4.8 trillion (from $45.8 trillion to $50.6 trillion), accounting for nearly all of the $4.9 trillion increase in the nation’s net worth of households and nonprofit organizations.
money  wealth  inequality  statistics 
june 2014 by Quercki
Chapter 3: Background on Changes in Major Asset Prices from 2009 to 2011 | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project
Security and Bond Prices

Although the particulars depend on the particular asset and term, from June 2009 until December 2011 fixed income markets performed at least as well as equity markets. As a rule of thumb, the prices of bonds move inversely with the yield or interest rate on the bond. Interest rates declined substantially from June 2009 to December 2011. For example, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury security over this period fell 1.74 percentage points, or 174 basis points (from 3.72% to 1.98%). That represents a 47% decline in the rate and an equivalent gain in the price of the security. Alternatively, we can investigate rates in the corporate bond market. From June 2009 to December 2011, the Aaa corporate bond rate fell 168 basis points (from 5.61% to 3.93%), representing a 30% decline in the rate and a 30% appreciation in the value of corporate bonds. U.S. bond yields fell further over the course of 2012.
money  wealth  inequality  statistics 
june 2014 by Quercki
Chapter 2: Explaining the Differential Wealth Recovery | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project
Wealthier households tended to gain most of the wealth created from 2009 to 2011 because they were much more likely to own the assets that rose the most in value. From 2009 to 2011, average net worth per household rose 14% overall. However, average net worth excluding home equity rose 31%, from $195,650 in 2009 to $255,843 in 2011. Much of the nation’s net worth excluding home equity is in financial assets, and the nation’s households with at least $500,000 of net worth were more likely to own financial assets, particularly the financial assets that rose the most in value from 2009 to 2011.
money  wealth  inequality  statistics 
june 2014 by Quercki
Chapter 1: The Uneven Wealth Recovery Among the Nation’s Households | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project
High Net Worth Households

Even though households with net worth of $500,000 or above saw their mean net worth increase from 2009 to 2011, this group’s median net worth decreased during the same period—to $836,033 in 2011 from $889,275 in 2009. The median refers to the midpoint of a group—in this case, households at the 93.25 percentile of wealth (halfway between the 86.5th percentile and the 100th percentile). A simultaneous rise in the mean and decline in the median implies that aggregate net worth increased only among households above the median—that is, the 8 million households with net worth of $836,033 or more in 2011. Those upper 7% of households had an estimated aggregate wealth gain of 28% from 2009 to 2011, while the estimated aggregate wealth of households in the $500,000 to $836,033 range fell by 4%.
money  wealth  inequality  statistics 
june 2014 by Quercki
A Rise in Wealth for the Wealthy; Declines for the Lower 93% | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project
During the first two years of the nation’s economic recovery, the mean net worth of households in the upper 7% of the wealth distribution rose by an estimated 28%, while the mean net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by 4%, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released Census Bureau data.

From 2009 to 2011, the mean wealth of the 8 million households in the more affluent group rose to an estimated $3,173,895 from an estimated $2,476,244, while the mean wealth of the 111 million households in the less affluent group fell to an estimated $133,817 from an estimated $139,896.

These wide variances were driven by the fact that the stock and bond market rallied during the 2009 to 2011 period while the housing market remained flat.

Affluent households typically have their assets concentrated in stocks and other financial holdings, while less affluent households typically have their wealth more heavily concentrated in the value of their home.
money  wealth  inequality  statistics 
june 2014 by Quercki
The Logic of Stupid Poor People | tressiemc
I remember my mother taking a next door neighbor down to the social service agency. The elderly woman had been denied benefits to care for the granddaughter she was raising. The woman had been denied in the genteel bureaucratic way — lots of waiting, forms, and deadlines she could not quite navigate. I watched my mother put on her best Diana Ross “Mahogany” outfit: a camel colored cape with matching slacks and knee high boots. I was miffed, as only an only child could be, about sharing my mother’s time with the neighbor girl. I must have said something about why we had to do this. Vivian fixed me with a stare as she was slipping on her pearl earrings and told me that people who can do, must do. It took half a day but something about my mother’s performance of respectable black person — her Queen’s English, her Mahogany outfit, her straight bob and pearl earrings — got done what the elderly lady next door had not been able to get done in over a year. I learned, watching my mother, that there was a price we had to pay to signal to gatekeepers that we were worthy of engaging. It meant dressing well and speaking well. It might not work. It likely wouldn‘t work but on the off chance that it would, you had to try. It was unfair but, as Vivian also always said, “life isn’t fair little girl.”
poor  poverty  class  wealth  race  culture 
november 2013 by Quercki
Which America Do You Live In? – 21 Hard To Believe Facts About “Wealthy America” And “Poor America”
The following are 21 facts about "wealthy America" and "poor America" that are hard to believe...

#1 The lowest earning 23,303,064 Americans combined make 36 percent less than the highest earning 2,915 Americans do.

#2 40 percent of all American workers (39.6 percent to be precise) make less than $20,000 a year.

#3 According to the Pew Research Center, the top 7 percent of all U.S. households own 63 percent of all the wealth in the country.

#4 On average, households in the top 7 percent have 24 times as much wealth as households in the bottom 93 percent.

#5 According to numbers that were just released this week, 49.7 million Americans are living in poverty. That is a brand new all-time record high.

#6 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

#7 Household incomes have actually been declining for five years in a row and total consumer credit has risen by a whopping 22 percent over the past three years.

#8 According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.

#9 The homeownership rate in the United States is at an 18 year low.

#10 The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have as much wealth as the bottom one-third of all Americans combined.
99%  1%  wealth  inequality  rich  poor  economics  statistics 
november 2013 by Quercki
Tiger Beatdown › Who Exactly IS The 1%?
Because the vast majority of these high incomes? Are coming from investments. Not work. There’s a myth that people can achieve this kind of wealth through bootstrapping; for an absolutely beautiful takedown of a recent bootstrapping meme, check this post out (h/t Lesley Kinzel). The fact is that you rise to positions of power in the financial industry primarily through family connections. You get wealthy because you come from wealth and your family uses that to build more wealth or buy positions for you. Not by working really hard and eventually getting what you deserve.

And for all you believers in social mobility out there, substantial research into the subject has pretty neatly deflated the bootstrapping myth. If you’re born poor, you’re likely to stay poor. If you’re born rich, you’re likely to stay rich. Here’s a chart showing shifts in social mobility over time, illustrating that mobility in both directions has decreased over the years.

But income isn’t the only, or the best, measure of inequality. Because wealth is also important. Wealth can make a significant difference in quality of life, the difference between being able to pay for emergencies and not being able to pay, being able to send kids to college and not being able to send them, being able to retire and not, being able to accomplish many, many things which are only possible when the tracks are greased with some personal wealth, right down to getting a new apartment when you’re escaping a dangerous relationship and you need a deposit for the landlord. Wealth is a tool that can be used for power and control, and is used for those very purposes, and when you look at wealth, you will encounter an entirely different set of numbers.
wealth  Occupy_Wall_Street  99% 
october 2011 by Quercki
The Wealth Report - WSJ
lots of articles about being wealthy, who is rich, how to tell the kids, etc.
wealth  money  Occupy_Wall_Street 
october 2011 by Quercki
The L-Curve: A Graph of the US Income Distribution
The US population is represented along the length of the football field, arranged in order of income.

Median US family income (the family at the 50 yard line) is ~$40,000 (a stack of $100 bills 1.6 inches high.)

--The family on the 95 yard line earns about $100,000 per year, a stack of $100 bills about 4 inches high.

--At the 99 yard line the income is about $300,000, a stack of $100 bills about a foot high.

--The curve reaches $1 million (a 40 inch high stack of $100 bills) one foot from the goal line.

--From there it keeps going up...it goes up 50 km (~30 miles) on this scale!
income  politics  wealth  Occupy_Wall_Street  statistics 
october 2011 by Quercki
TMF: Wealth Inequality: Macro impact / Macro Economic Trends and Risks
The result of wealth concentration is that the velocity of money has plummeted. The velocity of money is the GDP/M1. The Federal Reserve has pumped up M1, which has skyrocketed like never before. But only a fraction of the increase in M1 is being loaned to consumers by the banks (M1 Multiplier < 1.) The GDP has not responded to the Fed's M1 pumping. Consumers are spending a lower proportion of M1 than previously.

The velocity of money has dropped consistently for many years as wealth inequality grew. This translates into fewer jobs.

Lower money velocity translates into fewer goods and services, and correlates with a lower S&P 500.
wealth  consentration  economy  inequality  TMF 
august 2011 by Quercki
06intop400.pdf (application/pdf Object)
IRS Statement of Income for the top 400 AGI taxpayers
taxes  wealth  rich 
january 2009 by Quercki
Inconspicuous Consumption - The Atlantic (July/August 2008)
Conspicuous consumption, this research suggests, is not an unambiguous signal of personal affluence. It’s a sign of belonging to a relatively poor group. Visible luxury thus serves less to establish the owner’s positive status as affluent than to fend off the negative perception that the owner is poor.
wealth  race  income  poverty 
december 2008 by Quercki
Op-Ed Columnist - Now That’s Rich - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com
define the income at which “you move from middle class to rich.”
Mr. Obama answered the question seriously, defining middle class as meaning an income below $150,000. Mr. McCain, at first, made it into a joke, saying “how about $5 million?” Then he declared that it didn’t matter because he wouldn’t raise anyone’s taxes. That wasn’t just an evasion, it was a falsehood:
tax  politics  wealth 
september 2008 by Quercki

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