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Forbes Report: What It Takes to Be Part of the 1%

Jun 17, 2016  •  Post A Comment

A report in Forbes says the perception that the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer and the middle class is disappearing — a view that has been a cornerstone of the Bernie Sanders presidential bid — is essentially accurate.

“In the years following the financial crisis, the top 1% of Americans pocketed 85% of total income growth, according to a study released on Thursday from the Economic Policy Institute,” Forbes reports. “As of 2013, the average family income of the top 1% was 25 times the average income for the other 99%.”

The report also puts perspective on what it takes to be a part of the top 1%. “On a national basis, in 2013 you needed a minimum household income of $389,436 to join the club,” Forbes notes. “But the threshold is a lot higher in certain East Coast locales, such as Connecticut ($659,979), Washington, D.C. ($554,719) and New Jersey ($547,737).”

Wide variations are noted by state. “In New York, Connecticut and Wyoming, for example, the top 1% has an average income that is more than 40 times the average incomes of the other 99% in those states,” Forbes reports. “The numbers are more sane in certain parts of the country. For instance, the state where it’s easiest to join the 1% club is New Mexico, where a household income of $231,276 is sufficient.”

4 Comments

  1. “… the perception that the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer and the middle class is disappearing — a view that has been a cornerstone of the Bernie Sanders presidential bid — is essentially accurate.”

    Really?? The inherent assumption (promoted by Sanders, other out-of-touch-with-reality social planners, their dupe followers, and sympathetic media) is that the wealthy are stealing from everyone else. This notion is nothing more than the constant, drumbeat repetition of what is essentially a CORRELATION of three separate facts… presented as self-evident causation.

    But it’s not. Correlation is not causation.

  2. Actually, the article said nothing about causation. There’s a lot of debate about *why* the rich are getting richer while most of the rest of the population is treading water, but the statistics in the article are pretty much just facts.

    Also, note that it is perfectly possible to agree with the Sanders campaign that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, while disagreeing with his proposed solutions. Just because the diagnosis is correct doesn’t mean that he has the correct prescription.

  3. The problem is people like Sanders assume not only are the middle class not changing tiers but that the 1% also are permanent members.

    Most of the “1%” deservedly earn their remuneration from their own entrepreneurial endeavors, and as seen in Silicon Valley, the wealthy this year because of that success may well be broke next year.

  4. Not true BillK. The vast majority of wealth in America is passed on from generation to generation.

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