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14. Who Are the Top 1 Percent and How Do They Earn a Living?

The richest 1 percent of the country now owns more than 40 percent of the wealth and takes home nearly a quarter of national income. Evidence based on tax returns indicates that this superelite 1 percent consists of nonfinancial executives, financial professionals, and members of the legal, real estate, and medical professions. Earnings at this level correlate with deregulation and the other legal changes that brought on the financial crisis. While the 99 percent deal with the direct consequences of that crisis, the 1 percent increasingly have left behind deteriorating neighborhoods in favor of wealthy enclaves, further isolating themselves, according to a 2011 Stanford University study.

Censored News Cluster: From “Bankster Bailout” to “Blessed Unrest”: News We Can Use to Create a US Economy for the 99 Percent

Mike Konczal, “Who Are the 1 Percent and What Do They Do for a Living?,” Rortybomb, October 17, 2011, http://rortybomb.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/who-are-the-1-and-what-do-they-do-for-a-living.

http://www.mediafreedominternational.org/2011/11/23/who-are-the-top-1-and-what-do-they-do-for-a-living/

Student Researcher: Nicole Trupiano (Sonoma State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips (Sonoma State University)

  • canuck December 7, 2012

    just tax them at 99% on anything in excess of $250000.

    • Austin Gag April 30, 2013

      Right, because that would solve everything, including the slamming of the economy into the ground :b. Litterally every business in the country would just leave. Up and gone overnight.

      • Mr. Neutron May 6, 2013

        Right, pizza joints would move to Russia,
        and overnight orders on UPS.

      • OneOfTheFewValidAmericans March 17, 2014

        America’s real problems started when white people on boats came over, drew arbitrary boarders, and said, “This is mine”. Under the flimsy pretense of “religious freedom” Please, the so-called “royal” family in England are Christians too. Protestants unjustly executed for bullshit arbitrary reasons like witchcraft and engaged in colonialism just like Catholics so they didn’t reform where it truly counted.

        Where was I? Oh yes, back in the day everyone knew their tribal leader and tribal leaders would fight and hunt alongside their tribe whereas today’s equivalent of kings (top 1% executives) shelter themselves from the real world. If a tribe (owning class) wants to fight for something and benefits from it they should go to war for it themselves instead of suckering a different tribe (the working class) to fight for their own damn oil profits and global enterprise that only benefits them.

        I say good riddance, white people leave and take your damn book of myths and arbitrary gates (currency, lines around land saying “This is mine” when it rightfully belongs to nature, etc.) with you back to Europe, you people were never invited and took Native peoples’ kindness for weakness and falsely justified the theft of our rightful lands and resources.

        • mikailus March 24, 2014

          Your racial babble isn’t helping. As if “everyone knew their tribal leader and tribal leaders would fight and hunt alongside their tribe” isn’t some myth. The focus now is getting the economy back into shape.

  • canuck December 7, 2012

    just tax them at 99% on anything in excess of $250000.

    • Austin Gag April 30, 2013

      Right, because that would solve everything, including the slamming of the economy into the ground :b. Litterally every business in the country would just leave. Up and gone overnight.

      • Mr. Neutron May 6, 2013

        Right, pizza joints would move to Russia,
        and overnight orders on UPS.

  • Eric Davis May 8, 2013

    so the big question Ive been asking all my Democrat friends is this, Just who are the “top 1 percent”? No one seems to know any of these people by name or what their professions are? I cant help but think that people are jealous of others accomplishments! Case in point, people talk junk about Bill Gates, well Bill Gates made his millions by producing products that people buy everyday! Steve Jobs, people bitch and complain about a $300-400 iPod that cost about $15 to produce in China, but they turn right around and go buy that very same iPod! People need to worry about what they have or have not done to better themselves before they bitch piss and complain because someone got rich from using their damn brain to develop produce and market a product that lines their pockets with the “poor” people’s (Democrats) cash!

    • Katherine May 9, 2013

      Me and my boyfriend would like to shake your hand Eric. If your ever in Denver we have a beer waiting for you.

    • S January 3, 2014

      If you take a look at the wealth distribution lines you’ll find that 20 percent really starts at about 250 k a year with about a million in assets. These are your doctors, lawyers, engineers. Lots of self made men and women. This is where the lines start to really become scewed. The top 1% is at about 1.25 Million a year with about 15 million in assets. As you go up from the 1% is where the real problem lies, these are your executives and politicians. I love capitalism. I think its a fantastic system for dealing with trade and an economy, but the real situation is that the wealth is distributed in a dangerous and unstable way. After hundreds of years of capitalism and taxation shouldn’t we have learned our lession. Democrat and republican, it makes no difference. Both parties have continually done their best to uphold the “establistment” and what it represents (holding 39% of the wealth in the top 1% and with it world powers. Most people don’t realize how wealth is distributed and are scolded and told that its a person who defines their class don’t understand percentages and the economy.

  • Eric Davis May 8, 2013

    so the big question Ive been asking all my Democrat friends is this, Just who are the “top 1 percent”? No one seems to know any of these people by name or what their professions are? I cant help but think that people are jealous of others accomplishments! Case in point, people talk junk about Bill Gates, well Bill Gates made his millions by producing products that people buy everyday! Steve Jobs, people bitch and complain about a $300-400 iPod that cost about $15 to produce in China, but they turn right around and go buy that very same iPod! People need to worry about what they have or have not done to better themselves before they bitch piss and complain because someone got rich from using their damn brain to develop produce and market a product that lines their pockets with the “poor” people’s (Democrats) cash!

    • Katherine May 9, 2013

      Me and my boyfriend would like to shake your hand Eric. If your ever in Denver we have a beer waiting for you.

    • Silkroad August 25, 2013

      But what about those people who inherited their wealth from their Mommies and Daddies? These people didn’t earn a penny of their money, and therefore, they don’t deserve it.

      • Graham Thornton October 15, 2013

        Well silkroad more than 80% of millionaires are self made and those few who are trust fund baby’s had very hard working parents. It would truly just be punishing all those self made millionaires if you punitively taxed the wealthy just because of those few who wrongly inherited.

      • Myra January 20, 2014

        What is wrong with inherited wealth. All parents want to help their children. The parents who teach their children to work to maintain the wealth leave a legacy that keeps their family from dropping back into poverty. The parents who don’t teach their children to work leave a legacy that is spent and who’s decedents drop back down into lower income brackets. All wealth requires work and anyone who does the work will become wealthy. There aren’t a limited number of spots in the wealthy pool. Resentment of wealth is nonproductive.

    • Antonio Ambegia December 3, 2013

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. WOW the poor (democrats) , lol did the republicans put you up to this? their is no way your that naive .
      WoW . Enjoy that beer with that couple. I just cant believe Your that brain washed. Im not dissing the wealthy , im just saying its not nearly as distributed as it should be. And do you have a problem with people less fortunate then you? Do you think you’re better then them . and A WEAlTHY CEO is better then you ???

  • Carrie August 22, 2013

    Bill gates helps people I agree. But the Koch brothers? They are controlling the elections. They put so much money into making sure that they will always be on top, by trying to stamp out the union and cutting
    Out social security and any other government program. While their chemical plants cause cancer they are shoving money in political pockets to get things like tort reform passed.

    • david k September 30, 2013

      oh looks like crazy carrie is at it again blaming those wealthy Koch family who made it all possible for all of the World to enjoy cheaper refined gas. you were an awful actress in that horror flick ‘carrie. oh and yea an automobile was involved there too.

  • Drew Glines September 25, 2013

    How can we prevent rich assholes from sitting on 40% of the wealth when our government is comprised entirely of rich assholes.

  • Rodney Sundleaf November 4, 2013

    Monopoly ? Good or bad power absolute power top 1percent trends on welth what’s the end game it’s not who deserves what it’s how many more can suffer

  • joe gesosi January 9, 2014

    This must have been written by someone who is not in the top 1%:)

  • Kenna Weaver January 27, 2014

    Have always been interested in this subject since reading Taylor Caldwell’s book “The Captain & the Kings” saying “you may not believe that these men exist but they do. Also taking a tour of the Hearst Castle and thinking, “How could any one person have this much”. Also working at Motorola and them taking one of the production areas to Nogales, Mexico, paying those girls .18 cents an hour when we were making $2.50 an hour. Now what does that tell you. They didn’t raise their standard of living and took our jobs away from us. Kind of reminds you of China now.

  • KEN February 1, 2014

    Let us smash the top 1%. is that feasible? No. Every human is as greedy as the next.

  • Stephen Nelson February 6, 2014

    The IRS provides pretty detailed statistics on roughly the richest two million people in the country. And it’s not all that noteworthy. The typical one percent-er has mean net worth of somewhere around $2.5M (sorry median not calculable given data). That’s a roughly $500K house… about $500K-$600K in a business… about $250K in cash… about $500K $600K in retirement accounts… often about $700K of real estate (probably rentals?)… and then some other “stuff”.

    So lots of money, lots of wealth. But basically a small business, an IRA, a pretty nice house and then a hodge podge of hands-on investments.

    • Alicia March 3, 2014

      That was well explained thanks Stephen Nelson.

  • j mercer March 14, 2014

    none

  • JustMe March 17, 2014

    It’s funny whenever hypocritical FOX news people and executives accuse unions of earning “too much” when they themselves pull in millions and get capital gains. Five figures vs. at least seven, gee, who really is making too much? Must be the truckers and teachers… NOT!