Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

You Are Next

Megan McArdle says she wants you to save more. Why?

But the most important thing is this: don't start looking for reasons you can't. If you hunt hard enough, you'll find them. Unfortunately, those reasons aren't going to do a damn thing to pay your house payment if you get laid off, or keep you in prescription drugs when you retire.

Because if she has anything to say about there will not be any social spending at all. Just enough charity to keep the mob from rioting will be more than enough, and no government action is otherwise needed.

Let's try to make this simple for McArdle.

The rich wanted more money so they took it.

Now they are much richer and the middle class is much poorer.

Income data indicate that the middle class, including the upper middle class, have seen far slower income growth than the top 1% since 1980.[39][40] While its income increased as fast as that of the rich in the years following the second World War, it has since experienced far slower income gains than the top. According to economist Janet Yellen "the growth [in real income] was heavily concentrated at the very tip of the top, that is, the top 1 percent."[40] Between 1979 and 2005, the mean after-tax income of the top 1% increased by an inflation adjusted 176% versus 69% for the top 20% overall. The fourth quintile saw its mean net income increase by 29%, the middle income quintile by 21%, the second quintile by 17% and the bottom quintile by 6%, respectively.[38] The share of gross annual household income of the top 1% has increased to 19.4%, the largest share since the late 1920s.[41][42][43] As the U.S. is home to a progressive tax structure the share of net-income received by the top 1% is smaller, and the share of the middle class consequently larger, than their shares of gross pre-tax income. In 2004, the top percentile’s share of net income was 14%, 27.8% less than its share of gross income, but nonetheless nearly twice as large as in 1979, when it was clocked at 7.5%.[38] The reduced size of the share of aggregate share of income, both pre and after tax, of the middle class has been attributed to the reduced bargaining power of wage earning employees, caused by the decline of unions; a lessening of government redistribution;[44] and technological changes which have created opportunities for certain people to accumulate far greater relative wealth very quickly (including larger markets due to globalization and Information Age technologies allowing faster and wider distribution of work product).

The notion that the middle class is shrinking is controversial because the economic boundaries that define the middle class vary. Households that earn between $25,000 and $75,000 represent approximately the middle half of the income distribution tables provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Over the past two decades, the number of households in those brackets decreased by 3.9%, from 48.2% to 44.3%. During the same time period, the number of households with incomes below $25,000 decreased 3.5%, from 28.7% to 25.2%, while the number of households with incomes above $75,000 increased over 7%, from 23.2% to 30.4%.[45] A possible explanation for the increase in the higher earnings categories is that more households now have two wage earners.[46] However, a closer analysis reveals all of the 7% increase can be found in households who earn over $100,000.[45]

The change has not always been in the same direction. Poverty rates increased early in the 1980s until late in the 1990s when they started to go back down. Since 2000, the percent of all people living in poverty has risen from 11.3% to 15.1% in 2010.[45][47]

A study by Brookings Institution in June 2006 revealed that Middle-income neighborhoods as a proportion of all metropolitan neighborhoods declined from 58 percent in 1970 to 41 percent in 2000. As housing costs increase, the middle class is squeezed and forced to live in less desirable areas making upward mobility more difficult. Safety, school systems, and even jobs are all linked to neighborhood types.

Thieves go where the money is.

Now that the 90% have been milked dry, the 9% will surely be next. That is where the money is.

It's called the 1%, not the 10%.


Substance McGravitas said...

Why can't they just battle on roller-skates in a big arena like civilized people?

Susan of Texas said...

I bet McArdle is a hair-puller.

Class war would be a lot more fun in knee socks and matching outfits.

DFS said...


(no joke one of my two or three favorite movies ever)

Lurking Canadian said...

So before the ink was dry on her doubleheader of "Buying things is great! Behold my $1500 mixmaster!". and "Here is the list of overpriced junk cluttering up my kitchen!", she comes out with "You peasants really ought to be saving more!"?

What a classless vulgarian she is. Honestly, this kind of thing is why the French killed their king.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure the value of the Thermomix will increase forever just like the price of housing.

It's a good investment.

fish said...

Ah LC beat me to the outrage of the superdopplerthermomix3000.

Downpuppy said...

I wouldn't focus on the 1% number as far as who will get thrown overboard. It pretty much comes down to the crowd that's in the interlocking boards that set each others compensation, and the big shots at major institutions. (UPenn has 15 employees making over $1 million each) The total number on the top is probably well under 100,000.

Evrybody else is an expense.