What the 1 percent and .01 percent made in 2010

by gradycarter

(As usual, I talk a lot about this stuff, so feel free to skip to the important information and look at the charts, and/or click HERE to see this actual conversation)

So over the past year or so I’ve decided that Steve Rattner (formerly the Car Czar) is one of my new all time favorite Economists / Political Analysts, and he is regularly on one of my favorite news shows “Morning Joe“.

(If you’d like to see his thoughts on the Auto-Bailout CLICK HERE)

Mr. Rattner regularly brings charts and graphs with him when he goes on TV, and as an Economics major I really appreciate the idea of connecting the dots. I think that he is usually very fair and reasonable (and willing to go against the common wisdom of the progressive base the he best identifies with).

The three pictures below represent the trend about the growing wealth gap. My personal opinion about this is quite mixed. I think that people who produce for the economy should be rewarded the best, but I also think that it’s fair to talk about whether or not certain trends are threatening to our society. I’m really just proposing that the people who seem to be so uncomfortable with ever questioning people’s rates compensation reconsider…

Adam Smith (considered the father capitalistic philosophy) said things like:

“The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. . . . It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.” Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

And though this quote is just about taxes (which aren’t a simple fix of everything, and I honestly don’t know anyone who thinks that they are) It seems relevant enough to at least think about the unimaginable concentration of wealth that is developing. I mean Sheldon Adelson, who is a casino mogul and the owner of the Venetian Hotel (and according to Forbes is the 14th richest man in the world, $24,900,000,000) is singlehandedly keeping New Gingrich’s campaign alive. Recently he gave $10,000,000 to Newt’s campaign to keep him afloat – and if you do the math that is like person who has $25,000 in their bank account and deciding to donate $10 so that they can help someone become the leader of the free world!….

This leads to a separate conversation about elections and money, but it has to be a part of this conversation as well… The short version of that conversation for me is that I’ve heard conversations about reversing Citizen’s United so that money is no longer viewed legally such as if it were speech, and rather look at it as if it were a commodity more comparable to labor.

I’m not trying to sound like a socialist, but I think that it isn’t that crazy to look at this trend and see how unsustainable this is for a civilized nation…

Ok, I’ve gone on enough, and I’ll post later about the the money being speech/labor conversation. Enjoy, and feel free to comment.
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Also, if you’d like to hear see the actual conversation click the link below.

*Video on msnbc.com: Must-Read Op-Eds: Mika Brzezinski reads from a David Brooks NYT column on why he believes President Obama isn’t “all in” when it comes to tax reform. Financier Steven Rattner also returns with his charts, and this time he shows us the average incomes of the one percent and .1 percent.
Rattner On The 1% and the .01%