Craig Eisele on …..

January 19, 2012

Top 1% is Actually the Top 0.1%

But The Top 0.1 Percent Isn’t Diverse

The Times has a piece the other day showing, correctly, that the top 1 percent of the income distribution is a fairly diverse group. But what that mainly reflects is the fact that the slogan “we are the 99 percent” sets the cut too low. A large part of the rising share of the top 1 — about 60 percent, according to the Piketty-Saez data — is actually attributable to the top 0.1 percent. And that’s not a diverse group at all, according to Heim et al (pdf):

If you add together nonfinance executives, “financial professions”, real estate, and lawyers, you’ve got more than 70 percent of the total; plus some of the other categories are probably essentially business executives too. Basically, the top 0.1 percent is the corporate suits, with a few token sports and film stars thrown in.

Real wealth in America isn’t nuanced at all.


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