We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Those greedy 1%ers (household AGI $350,000 and up) are Hollywood and Broadway actors, rock and hip-hop stars, sports stars, popular writers, entrepreneurs, TV people, fancy restaurant owners, artists, theater impresarios, prosperous small business owners, some accountants and portfolio managers, opera stars, the CEOs of big businesses, neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons, and some other high-income medical specialists, NYT columnists, college presidents, retired politicians, law partners, real estate magnates, and a few high-level investment bankers.
Not exactly an evil bunch of people. I plan to join that crowd, at least for a while. How many people are permanently in that group? Very few, I suspect. Careers rise and fall, which is why people need to save a little of their money while making sure to fully enjoy and make good use of the rest.
...as (Keith) Richards noted about the band’s early days, “Benedictines had nothing on us. Anybody that strayed from the nest to get laid, or try to get laid, was a traitor. You were supposed to spend all your waking hours studying Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson. That was your gig. Every other moment taken away from it was a sin.”
Read it. HuffPo, working on the envy meme: U.S. Income Inequality: Top 1 Percent Take Home 24 Percent Of U.S. Income. The economic ignorance, or feigned ignorance, is astonishing. There is no set "pie:" the pie is infinitely expandable. It's is called "Growth in GDP." Wealth can be created out of thin air, out of effective, creative, and unique qualities of work and investment. The Rolling Stones, on their next final tour, do not "take" their greedy % of American income. Those old boys earn it.
Stones are hanging in there --tho making a few subtle changes in the songs --you'll recognize 'em now as "You Can't Always Get What You Forgot", "Satisfracture", "Slumpin' Jack Flash", "Sympathy for the Diaper",
Couple of points about the 1% and the 24% of income.
First, a person at the top of the US's lowest quintile can live decently. That wasn't true of the third quintile a century ago and it isn't true of the third quintile in a lot of the world today. So the rich live better -- how does that cause me to live any lower on the hog?
Second, without some definite restraint, incomes will distribute statistically. The Pareto rule -- 80% of income goes to 20% of people -- seems to be quite true. If you do Pareto studies on subsets, you guesstimate that the 80% of 80% of income (64% overall) goes to 20% of 20% of people (4%). One more step gives you roughly 50% of income going to 1% of people, which isn't the case. So, from a statistical point of view, it's hardly surprising that a free society has about 25% of its income going to about 1% of its population. Those 1% also generate 25% or so of the value in a society, goods and services that people need, and in our society they pay around 40% of income taxes.
Killing the geese that lay golden eggs is as stupid as ever.