Who Are The Top 1% and What Do They Do For a Living?

by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

Mike Konczal’s article charts jobs and income growth of top one percent earners and the causes of changing income inequality. With evidence from tax returns the data shown in the article depicts that the top occupations are non-financial executives first, then financial professionals, followed by lawyers, real estate and medical professions.

Konczal’s article says that 60 percent of the top percentile of income goes to these top professions. The article points out that with the way corporation are structured under our laws that “a business exists only to enrich its shareholders, including, of course, senior managers themselves and this is done by paying out more in dividends that is earned in profits”.

This type of action is what upsets the people of the Occupy Wall Street movements, that the top one percent are “cashing out wealth during good times and then leaving workers and the rest of the real economy to deal with the aftermath”.

There’s good reason to focus on the top 1% instead of the top 10 or 50%. There is evidence that financial pay at this elite level is correlated with deregulation and the other legal changes that brought on the crisis. High-ranking senior corporate executives’ pay has dwarfed workers’ salaries, but is only a reward for engaging in shady financial engineering practices. These problems require a legal solution and thus they require a democratic challenge and a rethinking of how we want to structure our economy.


Title: Who are the 1 percent and what do they do for a living?

Source, Rortybomb, 10/17/11

Author, Mike Konczal



Student researcher, Nicole Trupiano, Sonoma state University

Faculty Evaluator, Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University