Who Are The 1% | How Much Do The 1% Earn? (OWS Response 2011)

(Originally posted October 26, 2011 — edited slightly)

NEWSBUSTERS Comments on the above video:

According to our friends at Celebrity Net Worth, Moore’s fortune currently totals $50 million:

Fahrenheit 911 raked in $230 million in theaters and another $3 million in DVD sales. After the theaters take their traditional 50% cut, that leaves roughly $130 million. Take away marketing, production and distribution expenses and Moore is conservatively left with $80 million. Moore was able to secure a deal from Miramax which guaranteed him 27% of his film’s net revenues, or roughly $21.6 million. Michael also was entitled to 50% of the profits of Sicko which are estimated to be $17 million.

Moore wants to dress and act as if he’s just a regular guy part of the 99 percenters, but he is every bit a multimillionaire doing everything in his power to make more money for himself. He invests his fortune in stocks – including the Left’s most-hated company Halliburton! – and isn’t pro-union when it comes to managing his own business.

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The TEA Party embodies the order of a republic, | The O.W.S. embodies the chaos of a “democracy”

This causes a question, the question is, “how much does the 1% earn…. and who are the 1%” Thanks to the Financial Samurai

WHAT THE TOP 1%, 5%, 10%, 25% and 50% MAKE IN AMERICA

Based on the Internal Revenue Service’s 2010 database below, here’s how much the top Americans make:

  • Top 1%: $380,354
  • Top 5%: $159,619
  • Top 10%: $113,799
  • Top 25%: $67,280
  • Top 50%: >$33,048

— SUMMARY OF FEDERAL INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX DATA, 2010 

Based on a previous 500+ survey study on Financial Samurai in 2009, about 80% of readers are in the Top 25%.  Good to know that many of you are doing well.  The table also tells us a number of things about equality or inequality, namely that the Top 1% of tax payers pay 38% of all income taxes.  You can also see that the Top 50% of tax payers pay practically all of the nation’s taxes (97.30%), which once again shows that 40-45% of American income earners pay zero taxes.

If you do another little exercise and compare your Top 25% of American income to the Top 10 per capita income countries in the world, you can once again see further how lucky most of us are. If only we can get all American wage earns to pay some taxes, it would go a long way to help shoring up our budget.  Congress is bickering over cutting $40 billion to $60 billion a year.  All we have to do is make the bottom 50% who pay no taxes pay just $43 a month in taxes and we’d raise $60 billion a year right there.

[….]

THE RICH WILL ALWAYS PAY MORE THAN THEIR FAIR SHARE

As the economy continues to recover, it’s likely that the top 1% of income earners will likely pay an even higher percentage share of overall income taxes than 38%.  If things were fair, they would only have to pay 20% of total income taxes since 20% is their share of total income.  Alas, the rich pay almost double what they owe.

On the flip side, the bottom 50% who earn 12.75% of total earnings only pays a paltry 2.7% in total taxes.  Inequality is wrong and we should treat everybody equally.  The government should try to fix the imbalance by increasing the breadth of working Americans who pay taxes to 100% so that everybody pitches in.  If all working Americans in the bottom 50% paid taxes, the 10% gap in what they should be paying should narrow.

With the economy suffering, It doesn’t makes sense if you are in the bottom 50% who isn’t paying their fair share of taxes to go after the top 50%, let alone the top 1% who are paying way more than their share of income.  Trying to squeeze people even more when you’re not paying any taxes, or paying very little is a throwback to tyranny.

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Financial Samuri has two follow up stories that are really good:

  1. When It Comes To Money, Shouldn’t We Trust Rich People Who’ve Been Poor?
  2. Who Are The Top 1% Income Earners?

Both are good articles that are poignant. But here is a portion from that first one that many do not ask:

It’s trendy to rage against the top 1% nowadays.  We’ve discussed how the world will go through further employment pain thanks to the decline in the stock markets, EuroZone debt crisis, US state-level budget problems, and political impotence.  Things are not pretty to say the least.

From my rental property article, you discover that the top 1% are a couple who met in law school at 25 and are now 28 year old 2nd year associates making $380,000 combined.  The top 1% is also the 28 year old Google software engineer from Caltech who brings in $450,000 a year and has $400,000 in savings.  The top 1% is the 35 year old cardiologist who is finally making over $300,000 a year after 11 years of post high school education and 3 years of residency work at $60,000 a year.  By the time he’s 45, he will probably make over $1 million dollars.

Where else can we find the top 1%?  Oh yeah, MBA grads who join Wall Street firms such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs at the standard $150,000 base salary and $30,000 sign-on bonus at age 29-30.  But, you knew this already since that’s who so many people are demonstrating against.  If they can last through the treacherous ups and downs of the markets, the multiple rounds of layoffs every year, the intense pressure of 60-80 hour work weeks, not to mention all the internal political landmines, they too will make over $380,000 a year by the time they are 35 year old second year Vice Presidents.

THE TOP 1%: COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE

Public Schools: Public colleges regularly pay their employees hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.  The best paid University of California employee is Jeff Tedford, with a salary of $3 million a year coaching football.  Not bad for a job many would say they’d love to do for much less.  Practically every single Top 25 head coach in football and basketball makes multiple-six figures.  The UC’s last President earned $900,000 and UCSF’s Chancellor, Susan Desmond-Hellman made $450,000.

Politicians: In September 1999, President Clinton signed legislation that increased the presidential salary to $400,000, effective January 2001.  This presidential pay raise was the first since 1969, when the president’s salary was raised from $100,000 to $200,000. Adjusted for inflation, $200,000 in 1969 would be worth $930,232 today. On top of the salary and expense accounts, both the U.S. president and vice president are given free housing with plenty of amenities. The White House has 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms, a movie theater, bowling alley, billiards room, tennis court, jogging track and putting greens.  Pretty good perks!

Online Infopreneurs:  Bloggers making over $380,000 a year are a dime a dozen.  Here are some that make the list: Heather Armstrong (Dooce), Darren Rowe (Pro Blogger), Michael Arrington (Tech Crunch), Pete Cashmore (Mashable), John Chow (John Chow), J. Shoemoney (Shoemoney), Perez Hilton (Perez Hilton), Ben Huh (Cheezeburger Network), Peter Rojas (Gizmodo), Leo Babauta (Zen Habits), and many top personal finance bloggers.  There are hundreds more that we’ve never heard of.

TV Journalism: Anchorwomen and men make well over $380,000 at all the major stations in all the major cities.  Katie Couric sealed an eye-popping $75 million, 5 year contract for CBS.  Political comedian, Jon Stewart from the Daily Show makes around $15 million a year and has a net worth north of US$50 million.  Jon makes his money making fun of politicians and rich people. Documentary-maker, Michael Moore, has made millions from railing against the car, food, and finance industries.  Oprah is the queen of them all with mega-billions.

Executives: We then come to all the CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies who on average make a somewhat outrageous $10 million a year.  If you include the CFOs, COOs, and all other C-level execs, we’re talking about thousands who make in the multi-millions.  These aren’t the top 1%.  These are the top 0.1%!  Many Directors and VP of Fortune 500 companies all make well over $380,000.  You don’t have to be a C-level executive to get there.

Internet Start-Ups: And then there are the founders of all the great internet/tech companies you see today: Apple, Zynga, Twitter, Google, Youtube, eBay and so forth.  They are the creators of the tools you use everyday to communicate and entertain yourself with.  There are thousands more you’ve never heard of, who get acquired by the gorillas and make millions too.

Professional Sports: Every starting NFL player makes well over $380,000.  So do all the members of every NBA team and European soccer league.  Men and women who hit fuzzy green balls and whack dimply white balls earn over $380,000.  It’s hard for a Nascar and Indy driver not to make over $380,000.  Finally, baseball players have incredible multi-year guaranteed contracts that make all other sports envious!  They are in the top 1%.

Entertainment Media: When you come home from a long days work and switch on the tube, the stars of your favorite TV sitcoms are well into the top 1%.  When you take your significant other to the movies on a Saturday night to watch the highly anticipated Big Momma’s House III, the actors are all in the top 1%.  They entertain you and make you laugh, and you go out and support them as a result.

THE TOP 1% ARE EVERYWHERE

The top 1% of income earners are everywhere.  They walk among us peacefully, and often times invisible to you and me.  Why are we trying to hunt them down?  They have worked hard to get to where they are and many of them employ thousands of the rest of us 99%.  Many of them entertain us with their movies, or their witty morning banter.  Some of us even fix our broken bones.  Even more donate a significant amount to charity.  Shouldn’t we say “thank you” to the top 1% instead of eviscerating them?

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Members of the Community Relations Service (CRS), a branch of DOJ that acts as “peacemaker” for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin(?) were seen organizing Occupoopers outside the RNC convention on Tuesday. One member is seen giving a protester a high-five despite the fact CRS reps are to “remain neutral” and act as “peacemakers.”

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