© Robert Sommers 2018

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rich are getting poorer, too.

I was reading Harvard economics professor Greg Mankiw's blog today and came across some interesting statistics, apparently the 1% aren't doing all that hot either and their income is far more cyclical. He cites numbers from the most recent IRS survey that show the following:

"between 2007 and 2009, the 99th percentile income (AGI, not inflation-adjusted) fell from $410,096 to $343,927.  The 99.9th percentile income fell from $2,155,365  to $1,432,890.  During the same period, median income fell from $32,879 to $32,396."

In addition, Professor Mankiw cites this paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research on top bracket income cyclicality.

"We document a large increase in the cyclicality of the incomes of high-income households, coinciding with the rise in their share of aggregate income. In the U.S., since top income shares began to rise rapidly in the early 1980s, incomes of those in the top 1 percent of the income distribution have averaged 14 times average income and been 2.4 times more cyclical. Before the early 1980s, incomes of the top 1 percent were slightly less cyclical than average. The increase in income cyclicality at the top is to a large extent due to increases in the share and the cyclicality of their earned income. The high cyclicality among top incomes is found for households without stock options; following the same households over time; for post-tax, post-transfer income; and for consumption. We study cyclicality throughout the income distribution and reconcile with earlier work. Furthermore, greater top income share is associated with greater top income cyclicality across recent decades, across subgroups of top income households, and, in changes, across countries. This suggests a common cause. We show theoretically that increases in the production scale of the most talented can raise both top incomes and their cyclicality."


It is so frustrating that the Republicans in Congress can only seem to negotiate through the sights of the gun barrel. It pisses me off to no end that they would tie the Payroll Tax bill to an end around of all environmental assessment for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. It is ridiculous enough for the State Department to be responsible for environmental review for the project in the first place. No shame and no concern for what they do to this great country of ours. Instead of serious negotiating, everything is an in your face poison pill. A big game of gotcha. Of course, with the wackos in the house, it is no sure thing that Boehner can deliver his troops anyway, the danger of dealing with a group of "outsiders" who think that compromise is a dirty word.


Anonymous said...

I just want to say thank you for all the great political information and commentary you provide. Your divergent sources and sleuthing and sluicing through the political information-overload/shitstorm is daunting. I commend your endurance in fighting the good fight and greatly appreciate your efforts in bringing some common sense perspective to the fray. I also enjoyed the Mike Wallace interview with Aldous Huxley that you posted. We do seem headed for as the Chinese say, interesting times. The Chinese ideogram for crisis is reported to be made up of two parts, one representing danger and the other opportunity. What we have been seeing I think since WW2 is also a concerted effort in the manufacturing of that danger to create the opportunity to implement the societal control they desire while posturing as the good guy protecting the public good in the name of public safety. Like Pearl Harbor and the the baiting of Iraq to invade Kuwait. And now that they've started privatizing the prisons and the military, they can make money by incarcerating the citizenry when they protest against the injustice of a " capitalistic" society simply "doing business". No harm, no foul.

...sorry... got carried away again with another long-winded comment. Anyway, thanks again for all your work. I also enjoy your choices in music, art, your photography, personal musings and creative writing, and of course, your food reviews. Hope you have a great holiday and wish you the best in health and wealth for the new year.

- Whomever

Blue Heron said...

Thank you very much "whomever" for the nice compliments. Happy New Year to you as well. I hope to be back to writing fiction and playing guitar next year, and hope that I get a few sales that allow me to continue to muse.