Scott Winship, Brookings
Submitted by: Editor
The Top 0.01% Versus The Top 1%
[Winship] The extent to which the incomes of the super-rich dwarf those of the rest of us in "the 99 percent" is difficult to convey. Even the striking statistics on the share of income received by the top fail to provide a useful visualization of what inequality looks like in contemporary America.
Mr. Winship created a graph (shown below) that depicts income in a silohuette of the world's tallest building, Dubai's Burj Khalifa.
[Winship] Question: where would the richest household in the bottom 98 percent-the one at the "98th percentile"-end up? With $350,000, it only would be on the 93rd floor-three-fifths of the way up the building, and 67 floors below the household at the 99th percentile. The household at the 90th percentile would only be on the 35th floor, and the median household-the one right in the middle of the income distribution-would be on Floor 13. In other words, the gap between the median household, which had about $50,000 in 2010, and the 98th percentile is not dramatically greater than the gap between the 98th percentile and the 99th percentile. Maybe Occupiers should have organized around the banner of "the 98 percent."
Mr. Winship engages in a healthy dose of spin to wrap up his article claiming that income inequality is bad for society ONLY if liberals can prove through observation (and not logic) that super-high net worth individuals have undo influence on our daily lives.
I guess he doesn't believe we plebians can observe the billions of dollars super-rich individuals pump into our political process to actualize legislation that excusivley benefits plutocrats at the expense of the 99%?