The Misery Of The 98th Percentile

Posted by: Mark Gimein on October 26, 2011 at 4:00 AM

CBOchart2.PNGThe Congressional Budget Office released its report on trends in household income Tuesday afternoon, concluding that (drumroll) since 1979 income has risen much faster at the top than lower down the distribution. Does this mean they definitely picked a side, as Business Insider puts it? I don’t think so. That’s not a side, it’s a fact. Nobody disputes that income has become more concentrated. The questions in the wealth debate are whether this is a problem and whether government should remedy it.

If you are still on the fence about this, one thing that might make it easier to decide is a sense not just of how income has shifted, but why. On this the report has largely taken the side of indecisiveness:

In all likelihood, the interaction of multiple factors has led to the growth in labor income inequality, and disentangling the contribution of those factors will remain a focus of research for some time.

Well, thank you. The CBO does make some conclusions about the stronger demand for for highly skilled workers. That’s probably accurate, but it does little to explain why income growth is concentrated at the very apex. You can see that easily in the chart above. Clearly skilled workers have done better than unskilled, but the pool of skilled workers has to go deeper than the top percentile. There are surely skills other than trading derivatives and programming at Google that are in demand.

If the CBO report doesn’t really explain the why of that chart (and really, it’s true that so far no one has), still the chart may help explain the political climate. A lot of the discussion now flows around the issue of whether those whose incomes haven’t risen should be angry. Look at the chart, though, and you notice that those at the bottom and middle have done just a bit worse than those right above them. They may not feel drastically poorer.

The people who can look around see the really wealthy pulling away are those in percentiles 81-99. They’re the folks who aspire to get to the very top. Over the last 30 years, that goal has moved further away, and they suspect that the upshot of any program of income distribution will move it still further. That’s the strongest anti-tax, small government constituency.

Reader Comments

Curtis Bratton

October 26, 2011 8:06 AM

What amazes me about all this is how anyone could possibly argue that the rich should not be taxed more. Trickle down economics doesn't work, and the growth of the income gap over the past 30 years is clear evidence of that. Letting the rich keep more money only makes them more rich, it does nothing to help the rest of society.

carl236

October 26, 2011 9:15 AM

Money used for speculation is dead as far as the economy is concerned. Pry some of it loose make it productive.Only the government can do that. Taxing excess income and speculation could help pull the world out of its economic slump. It is the best place to tax, because it does the least damage to the system.

Jim Ruiz

October 26, 2011 9:57 AM

Yes, the top 1% "got richer". But those making up the top 1% and the top 80% changed since 1979.

Very few people (Warren Buffet aside) in the top 1% today were in the top 1% in 1979 -- Even Bill Gates was not in the top 1% in 1979.

The same holds true for 81st-99th percentile.

The truth is, people enter and leave the top 20% as they loose jobs, have children (leave workforce or pick the mommy/daddy-track).

Many (I'd hazard to guess most) of the people in the top 1% have irregular incomes that takes them in and then out of the top 1% every 5-10 years.

So, is it really an incentive or fair to heavily tax the top 20% because they have a windfall for a couple of years only to go back to eating Raman Noodles during the bust-cycle like they did when they were building their business before?

Rick

October 26, 2011 10:33 PM

What are the salary ranges of each quintile?

Akash

October 27, 2011 7:59 AM

Hi please can any one help me to find more articles on this topic like how globalisation has affected inequality, volatility, and Divison. Will be really thankful for the help

DonPaul Olshove

October 27, 2011 11:21 AM

The oxymoron called "intellectual property" is at least part of the problem. Malformed income distribution originates with this distorted legal concept. For a more complete explanation, see http://www.ftc.gov/os/comments/intelpropertycomments/olshovedonpaul.htm

pozycjonowanie stron

January 17, 2012 3:34 PM

dude. your blog is wonderful just like my blog.

matura rozszerzona

February 1, 2012 2:49 PM

Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they just don't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

piece

February 10, 2012 4:42 PM

Thank you for wonderful collection

Greek Articles

February 10, 2012 10:19 PM

There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well

Kataskeui Istoselidon

February 17, 2012 1:16 AM

Thanks a ton for taking a few minutes to line this all out for people. This write-up ended up being quite helpful if you ask me.

Walk in Dusche

February 20, 2012 2:45 PM

Thanks for your marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you're a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back very soon. I want to encourage you continue your great writing, have a nice holiday weekend!

Dusti Colamarino

February 24, 2012 2:24 PM

Don't assume that the design process has wrapped up just because the site is live. Commit to updating your site so that it is current. It will not be necessary to continually make updates, but you should do so fairly regularly. Regular updates are crucial, especially if your website hosts anything relating to current events. Luckily, keeping website current isn't as overwhelming as tending to a blog. Set aside a few hours everyday to make changes to your website.

huntington beach homes

February 24, 2012 6:07 PM

you're really a good webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing. It seems that you are doing any unique trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a wonderful job on this topic!

Andria Lunan

February 26, 2012 6:42 PM

HRPreneur is a Human Capital Consulting firm with extensive knowledge that becomes an integral part of your company by providing an array of services that will initiate an engaged workforce, to ensure you achieve your strategic results and foster a great company!

Armida Romrell

February 27, 2012 2:14 AM

Many thanks for an unbelievable submit, would see your particular others content. thanks for your thinking with this, I experienced somewhat made an impact to by this article. Thanks again! You make a good moment. Portrays natures best by the great facts here. I feel that if a greater number considered it that way, they'd have got a better moment in time have the grasp ofing the difficulty.

Von Hurme

March 2, 2012 2:05 PM

Many thanks for an unbelievable submit, will examine one's others posts. thanks for your ideas for this, I felt a bit struck by this text. Merit again! You earn a great point. Got some wonderful report here. I do think that when more people thought of it like this, they'd have got a better time obtain the suspend ofing the issue.

back pain exercises

March 2, 2012 5:04 PM

Great info. One problem I seemed to be experiencing was viewing your images. No clue why.

simple chicken recipes

March 3, 2012 4:02 AM

I've been surfing on-line greater than three hours these days, yet I by no means discovered any interesting article like yours. It is pretty value sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the net might be much more helpful than ever before. "When there is a lack of honor in government, the morals of the whole people are poisoned." by Herbert Clark Hoover.

john carter

March 4, 2012 1:40 AM

Wowage blog, but how is the images coming up.

0x00000ed error code

March 4, 2012 3:53 AM

How to fix BSOD error 0x00000ED. There are two possible roots of this error.

Friendship Girls

March 4, 2012 5:16 PM

I rarely comment, however I browsed some remarks here The Misery Of The 98th Percentile - BusinessWeek. I do have a couple of questions for you if it's allright. Could it be only me or do a few of the responses appear like they are written by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing on other online social sites, I would like to follow everything new you have to post. Could you post a list of the complete urls of your shared pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

Alanna Riehl

March 4, 2012 11:53 PM

Thanks for an incredible put up, may examine your others posts. thank you your thinking with this, I experienced a trifle made an impact to by this short article. Merit again! You commit a good moment. Got some great info here. I think if more people considered it doing this, they'd have got a better moment in time get the suspend ofing the issue. www.trbxjeur.nkd

Izzykonto

March 5, 2012 6:35 AM

Mhm, cool layout :).

Muay Thai

March 5, 2012 3:51 PM

You will be the worst author

Kirstin Debar

March 5, 2012 6:01 PM

It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

Manusi crosetate

March 5, 2012 8:41 PM

Very good information. Lucky me I came across your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I've book marked it for later!

nuclear medicine technologist schools ga

March 6, 2012 3:33 AM

You won’t believe this but recently I was sorely tempted to include your site as my personal homepage. I assumed that way I would have the ease of assessing the goodness of your site every time I launched my chrome. However, I had to satisfy my temptation with solely bookmarking your website since I couldn’t clear away my own site from the default homepage option (even though I wanted to). Anyway, do keep your posts updated.

dating girls

March 6, 2012 7:08 PM

I enjoy looking through a post that will make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

long feather earrings

March 7, 2012 2:57 AM

Thank you an incredible put up, can read one's others posts. thank you your notions with this, I soon became a lttle bit thump by this post. Many thanks again! You make a great moment. Portrays natures best by the excellent report here. I think if more people consideration for it like this, they'd have got a better moment in time receive the hold ofing the difficulty.

Darmowe konto w banku dla dzieci

March 7, 2012 3:42 PM

up: Don't sure if you are right man.

Angelic Pacholec

March 7, 2012 7:14 PM

This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

gladis mindight

March 7, 2012 11:11 PM

please keep me updated with this information , i really apreciate a person posting this

Darmowe konto w banku dla dzieci

March 8, 2012 4:10 PM

Cool design I think.

big feather earrings

March 8, 2012 9:45 PM

I appreciate a tremendous publish, would examine one's others topics. thanks for your thinking for this, I really felt somewhat thump by this post. Many thanks again! You earn an excellent aspect. Has fantastic info here. I do think that in case more people thought about it like this, they'd have got a better time period obtain the grasp ofing the issue.

Jesse

March 9, 2012 4:36 PM

Thanks! for this kind of excellent information - blogesaurus convertxtodvd free full version The Misery Of The 98th Percentile - BusinessWeek

here

March 10, 2012 4:57 PM

Thank you an incredible publish, can examine your personal others posts. many thanks for your ideas for this, I felt a lttle bit made an impact to by this short article. Merit again! You make a good time. Has excellent facts here. I believe that in case a greater number thought of it that way, they'd have got a better moment in time get the grasp ofing the difficulty.

Bobette Colecchi

March 11, 2012 9:49 PM

Regards for sharing Thursday Another Day & Great Progress! with us keep update bro love your article about Thursday Another Day & Great Progress! .

Tasha Vergari

March 11, 2012 11:59 PM

An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

Nigel Guittennez

March 12, 2012 1:13 PM

I appreciate an unbelievable put up, will see one's others posts. many thanks for your ideas for this, I soon became a bit strike by this article. Many thanks again! You earn a terrific time. Displays the beauty through wonderful report here. I do think that if a greater number of people thought about it like that, they'd have a better time period receive the hold ofing the issue.

Konto dla nastolatków

March 13, 2012 2:12 AM

Nice blog! Where did you get that awesome design?

Rafael Vanderpool

March 13, 2012 4:02 PM

Very nice post, I certainly love this website, keep on it.

Izzykonto opinie

March 13, 2012 6:19 PM

Awesome site! Where did you get this design?

Dung Tamiya

March 14, 2012 9:53 PM

You have a great blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

long feather earrings

March 15, 2012 3:40 PM

I appreciate an amazing publish, can examine your personal others topics. thank you your thinking with this, I experienced somewhat strike by this short article. Merit again! You earn a terrific aspect. Has excellent facts here. I think that in case more individuals thought of it like this, they'd possess a better moment in time obtain the hang ofing the situation.

Top Rated Testosterone Boosters

March 15, 2012 6:11 PM

Together with having a lot content ever encounter any kind of issues involving copyright infraction? My personal website has many distinctive content material I have sometimes written myself or outsourcing but it appears to be many of it is actually taking it down everywhere in the net with out my endorsement. Do you know any kind of ways to help alleviate problems with content material through staying ripped off? I'd personally really regards.

Best Male Vitamins

March 16, 2012 10:44 AM

My spouce and i turned into more than pleased that Michael been able to deal with their study using the tips he stumbled on while using the webpages. It's now and also once more difficult to simply be freely giving alternatives that numerous many others has been making money via. We comprehend we have the website owner to get happy to be able to to the. The most important designs you cash in on, the easy website course-plotting, the particular interactions you assist to generate -- it’s obtained every thing incredible, along with it’s making each of our child besides the family contemplate that material can be pleasurable, that is pretty important. Thanks for the whole great deal!

Marianela Fitzgerlad

March 17, 2012 12:00 AM

That is the type of info that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for now not positioning this higher up! Come on over and discuss with my web site. Thanks =)

Darmowe konto w banku dla dzieci

March 17, 2012 1:39 PM

Awesome layout! How did you get that awesome layout?

Martine

March 17, 2012 2:23 PM

Handy details and extraordinary style and design you obtained right here! I'd choose to thank you for sharing your recommendations and placing the time in to the content you publish! Good operate!

cna classes in maryland nursing assistant

March 19, 2012 4:49 AM

With quality information like this, I bet your website can become a masterpiece among your fellow competitors’ sites. I really think that bookmarking your site won't be a waste of time. Please, do continue adding interesting posts!

wendy smith

March 19, 2012 8:35 PM

Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact used to be a enjoyment account it. Look complicated to far introduced agreeable from you! By the way, how could we keep up a correspondence?

Tutaj

March 20, 2012 12:26 AM

I conceive this internet site contains some really fantastic information for everyone : D.

jordan barmo

March 20, 2012 3:02 AM

We're a bunch of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with helpful info to paintings on. You've done an impressive task and our entire neighborhood might be thankful to you.

nice site

March 20, 2012 9:09 AM

best luck with this project

Salud

March 20, 2012 10:14 AM

Hello there We are so comfortable We found the web page, I certainly noticed u by error, even though We was browsing in Aol regarding a specific thing numerous, Nevertheless I am the following and We would surely choose to state cheers for the brilliant posting plus a over-all entertaining website

wendy smith

March 20, 2012 9:04 PM

Of course, what a great website and educative posts, I will bookmark your blog.All the Best!

Mose Goya

March 21, 2012 1:06 PM

Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.

jared mclean

March 21, 2012 2:59 PM

Great post, I conceive website owners should larn a lot from this web blog its rattling user pleasant. So much excellent information on here :D.

Chris

March 21, 2012 4:41 PM

Its such as you learn my thoughts! You appear to know a lot approximately this, like you wrote the e book in it or something. I believe that you could do with some % to pressure the message house a little bit, however other than that, that is wonderful blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

Tyson F. Gautreaux

March 22, 2012 4:56 PM

i must agree with you here, and i thank you for allowing me to post!

emu360v1.4.rar

March 22, 2012 5:32 PM

My brother recommended I would possibly like this web site. He was entirely right. This submit actually made my day. You can not believe just how a lot time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

gharfaowehda WOAIJddawjJ

March 22, 2012 7:20 PM

Cherished could properly be essentially the most necessary gatherings which you saw. You may without doubt should carry out it as being pleasant as you'll be able to. Within the garment to get a plants for one’s wines to your advantage people’s toast, all kinds of things wants to be inside the proper sequence.

Delmer Kochler

March 22, 2012 10:02 PM

WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait ..

Nieves Galassi

March 23, 2012 2:44 AM

Hiya! I simply wish to give a huge thumbs up for the great information you've got right here on this post. I shall be coming back to your blog for more soon.

Rafaela Addie

March 23, 2012 5:48 AM

Pretty very good post. I just stumbled upon your website and wished to say that I have genuinely liked examining your blog site posts. Any way I Am Going To be subscribing to your feed and I hope you publish again soon.

Andrew A. Sailer

March 23, 2012 8:11 PM

simply wanted to comment on your wonderfully designed website, awesome job!

xbox 360 emulator v3.2

March 24, 2012 8:03 AM

I have been browsing on-line greater than three hours lately, but I never found any interesting article like yours. It is beautiful price enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made just right content as you probably did, the net shall be much more helpful than ever before.

xbox 360 emulator for ps3

March 24, 2012 5:06 PM

Hello there, just turned into aware of your weblog thru Google, and located that it's really informative. I'm gonna be careful for brussels. I'll be grateful for those who continue this in future. Lots of other folks will likely be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

emt schools in georgia

March 25, 2012 2:29 AM

God! I assumed I was the only one who has attempted to create a unique web site. But right now, surfing the goodness of your web site has obligated me to believe that I was wrong. Nevertheless, I'm very pleased to have stumbled upon your site. Please, do keep your content updated!

Matthew C. Kriner

March 26, 2012 5:52 AM

wow, exatcly the information i was looking forward, i tip my hat off to you

Michel Trippel

March 26, 2012 5:43 PM

Very nice post, I certainly love this website, keep on it.

Colby Mayhan

March 26, 2012 6:26 PM

One other thing I would like to say is that instead of trying to accommodate all your online degree training on days that you conclude work (since the majority of people are drained when they go back home), try to find most of your classes on the saturdays and sundays and only one or two courses on weekdays, even if it means a little time off your end of the week. This is beneficial because on the week-ends, you will be more rested in addition to concentrated upon school work. Thanks alot : ) for the different points I have mastered from your website.

Tyson F. Gautreaux

March 26, 2012 7:50 PM

wicked post, you really supplied alot of good information here!

Heather Janey

March 26, 2012 7:53 PM

Well said. I enjoyed that very much.

best electric toothbrushes for braces

March 27, 2012 6:27 PM

I saw this website and got so worked up that I buffalo kicked my cat!

Rat

March 27, 2012 7:03 PM

Hey There. I found your page browsing with yahoo. This can be an extremely perfectly created posting. I'll you'll want to bookmark it and return to browse significantly more of one's advantageous information. Thank you for sharing it. I will unquestionably be back again once again.

beauty

March 28, 2012 3:53 AM

I leave a response when I appreciate a article on a site or I have something to add to the conversation. It's triggered by the passion displayed inside the article I read. And on this article The Misery Of The 98th Percentile - BusinessWeek. I was excited enough to leave a commenta response ;-) I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you do not mind. Could it be simply me or do some of the responses look like written by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are posting at additional social sites, I'd like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Would you list all of all your community pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

Antoine Auricchio

March 28, 2012 5:15 PM

Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this web site wants way more consideration. I’ll in all probability be once more to learn rather more, thanks for that info.

electric toothbrushes for kids

March 28, 2012 10:24 PM

I read this site and got so excited that I kung fu kicked my neighbor!

Alicia

March 29, 2012 2:47 AM

I read this article and got so worked up that I drop kicked my wall!

Marie-Eve

March 29, 2012 9:05 PM

You made a good point but I wonder, what about the flipside?

electric toothbrushes for children

March 29, 2012 11:00 PM

Cool story, bro!

best electric toothbrushes 2009

March 30, 2012 2:02 AM

Cool story, bro!

xbox 360 emulator 3.0

March 30, 2012 6:11 AM

Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is amazing, nice written and include almost all vital infos. I would like to look extra posts like this .

new droid

March 30, 2012 9:50 AM

I appreciate an amazing publish, can examine your personal others topics. thank you your thinking with this, I experienced somewhat strike by this short article. Merit again! You earn a terrific aspect. Has excellent facts here. I think that in case more individuals thought of it like this, they'd possess a better moment in time obtain the hang ofing the situation.

best electric toothbrush 2010

March 30, 2012 11:10 AM

I read this article and got so excited that I jump kicked my neighbor!

Testa test

March 30, 2012 5:34 PM

greetings. Good text and a awesome blog

lana

March 31, 2012 4:53 AM

We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You've done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

adhaklwdhklawh aldhalkwdh

March 31, 2012 7:06 AM

ahdklawjhdakw hdkawjhdaklwdh kahwdkawh kajwhdkaljwh akwdhkwadh

Polly Sporle

March 31, 2012 8:47 PM

I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Google. You have made my day! Thank you again...

Jerrica

March 31, 2012 9:17 PM

Interesting to read all the new responses. Hopefully we can get new comments and ideas, thanks for all the posts.
Sarasota Back Pain

xbox 360 slim bundle

April 1, 2012 1:16 AM

Many thanks for a tremendous put up, may examine your personal others content. thank you your thoughts with this, I experienced a bit thump by this short article. Merit again! You make an excellent aspect. Has wonderful info here. I do think if more individuals thought of it doing this, they'd possess a better time period get the suspend ofing the difficulty.

nfs World speedhack

April 1, 2012 5:57 AM

It is appropriate time to make some plans for the long run and it is time to be happy. I've read this post and if I may I want to suggest you some interesting things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles relating to this article. I wish to read even more issues approximately it!

Przecieki matura 2012

April 1, 2012 2:57 PM

Hey there, You have done a great job. I will certainly digg it and in my view recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this website.

Alteriwnet Hack This Week

April 1, 2012 8:34 PM

Thanks for the good writeup. It in fact was a leisure account it. Glance advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we keep in touch?

Warrock Cheats Philippines

April 2, 2012 6:53 AM

I've been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts on this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i'm happy to show that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I so much indisputably will make certain to do not omit this site and provides it a look regularly.

Mera pengar

April 2, 2012 9:20 AM

Hello! Quick question that's entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when viewing from my iphone4. I'm trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Thanks!

pblog geek

April 3, 2012 2:03 AM

Your style is unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this blog.

Jarvis Lavongsar

April 3, 2012 3:55 AM

There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made certain good factors in options also.

Post a comment

 

About

"The Wealth Debate" is a running discussion of wealth, poverty, the economy and income inequality in the U.S. and the world. It was started shortly after the Occupy Wall Street movement sparked a global protest about the fallout from the financial crisis and money in politics. You can reach the editors, Dan Beucke and Mark Gimein, by email, or follow BloombergNow on Twitter to keep up with posts.

Analyses or commentary in this blog are the views of the author and or commentators, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!