Poverty

How Americans Define the "1 %" Up to Feel Better About Cutting Them and Not Us Down to Size

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The Washington Post's "Wonkblog" features "What it's like to be a part of the world's richest 1 percent, in 15 incredible photos."

One of them has a striking infinity pool very high in the sky, goddamnit! Another shows evidence some richie rich bastard employs two maids to make their beds! Gah!

Note their headline locution: "world's richest one percent."

You know what it takes to be in that, Americans? According to one estimate this decade, a U.S. annual (after tax) income of $34,000. You can use the "Global Rich List" site to see where you likely stand. (Precise numbers for things like this are always questionable, but you are in the range at least.)

The article could have had a picture of someone driving a 2002 Nissan Sentra to shop at Family Dollar in Ames, Iowa, and been very true to the spirit of the "world's richest 1 percent."

It is quite common for Americans who like to bitch about/be envious of the American "1 %" and contemplate policy to help level them for the benefit of the masses to ignore the redistribution theoretically demanded by their own role in the worldwide 1 percent.

Also, anti-1 percenters strangely rarely focus on free trade and immigration policies that work as natural levelers of income and opportunity around the world.

It is a near-universal belief of the American left: everyone richer than me needs to be cut down to size.

Hat tip: Jarrett Skorup's Facebook page.