From an interview with Thomas Sowell on his new book, “Economic Facts and Fallacies.”
If we follow human beings instead of income brackets, perhaps we can find more meaningful information as to who is doing better and who is doing worse. Maybe? Think about that. Yes, the top end is getting larger and zero is staying the same as our economy shifts to more sophisticated skills and paying people more for those skills, but is it necessarily true that those making $20K annually will stay in the $20K income bracket over a decade? What about those making over $1M annually? Will they stay in their same bracket over that same decade?
“What happens to a bracket is an abstract question; what happens to the flesh-and-blood human beings is different.”
Here’s what gets interesting… The flesh-and-blood people in the bottom 20% of tax payers in income in 1996, their average increase of income over the next decade was 91%,” almost doubling their income in a decade.
So how about the folks who are in the top 1%, “The rich who are getting richer?” Thier average income declined 26%.
That is about as opposite as you can get from the blah, blah, blah our media outlets and politicians are producing.
Check the facts yourself: Treasury Department (this will open the pdf in your browser – if you prefer, search the treasury website for Income Mobility Study http://ustreas.gov)
Image courtesy of Steve Jurvetson