[FoRK] 2009 Distribution of Wealth in the US

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Nov 5 15:53:25 PDT 2010


On 11/5/10 2:47 PM, Reza B'Far wrote:
> The disturbing part, to me, is the aggregate sum of the amount of wealth concentrated in the 0.01% range.  Is that really a 
> sustainable model for a society?

I don't see an obvious relationship between concentration and sustainability without some baseline benchmark.  It's not a zero-sum 
game overall, although things like the yearly budget are mostly zero-sum.

Even things like a poverty benchmark only make sense so far.  If you can have effective rent of $50/mo., it doesn't matter as much 
that you don't have so much income.  You can simplify things by making everyone have to pay a certain baseline, but that doesn't 
guarantee that things are better for everyone.  Concentrating on creating cheaper & better living circumstances may be much more 
beneficial than raising income or leveling off the peaks.

Here's a perverse endpoint of fairness analysis: Perhaps people living in areas of the country with lower standards of living should 
be paying more taxes.  Perhaps they are unfairly benefiting from those of us working hard, paying high rents & taxes in urbanish 
areas.  ;-)  And those Chinese, with their apparent cost of living of $200/mo., they are unfairly benefiting too.  Their gov. must 
be subsidizing their cost of living, therefore their output is subsidized too.

The range of my lowest and highest cost of living independently and supporting a family (measured as monthly committed budget) is a 
factor of about 80.  The peak expensive months cost about 80x the least expensive months.

Stephen

>
> *Reza B'Far, EE, PE*
> Phone: 1.949.623.0452
> Senior Development Director
> *Oracle USA*
> 17901 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 700
> Irvine, CA 92614
>
> On 11/5/10 1:55 PM, Lorin Rivers wrote:
>> http://www.socialsecurity.gov/cgi-bin/netcomp.cgi?year=2009
>>
>> People who earn a million+ make up 0.02532% of the US population.
>>



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